Applied Materials (
), the nation's biggest maker of semiconductor-fabrication
equipment, has one of the richest
among major technology companies., including Microsoft (
), Intel (
), Hewlett-Packard (
), Oracle (
) and Apple (
), which later this summer begins paying a quarterly
INTC Dividend Yield
Since initiating a
in 2005, Applied Materials' directors have been raising it pretty
regularly, including a 13% increase in March.
Most of the time, Applied Materials' dividend has been well
covered by earnings.
AMAT Earnings Per Share
Of course, the company's dividend yield is relatively big
these days in part because Applied Material shares have been
depressed for some time.
Why? For one thing, despite some hefty investments, Applied
Materials has had only limited success as a maker of equipment
for companies that manufacture silicon-based solar-cell products;
that adjacent market hasn't fulfilled expectations so far.
For another, Applied Materials' orders tend to lag the chip
sector. Chipmakers are having a good run currently, with booming
orders from smartphone and tablet makers driving higher volume.
Now, as their chip "foundries" begin to run at close to full
capacity, and as new designs require new production tools,
semiconductor makers are ordering more of the chip-making
equipment Applied Materials sells.
Applied Materials has been reducing shares outstanding, and
announced a new $3 billion
program in March. That'll give per-share earnings a little extra
AMAT PE Ratio
As low interest rates have squelched many avenues for income
investing, more investors are focusing on dividend stocks.
Whenever we invest in a company for its dividend, of course,
we're also buying its underlying shares. Before investing in any
stock, make sure to check out its fundamentals (YCharts can help
with that) and read its 10-K report.
James P. Miller is an editor for the
YCharts Pro Investor Service
which includes professional