Notable Earnings: Applied Materials (AMAT), King Digital (KING), El Pollo Loco (LOCO)

Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) gained $0.39 to $20.25 in the extended session Thursday after the company reported non-GAAP second-quarter earnings of $2.44 billion or $0.29 per share. Analysts had been modeling $2.40 billion and $0.28 per share. During Q2, non-GAAP adjusted gross margin was 43.2% as compared to 43.4% in the same period of the prior year. The company’s net income for the period ended April 26 came in at $364 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, from $515 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, a year earlier.

“Applied posted our highest quarterly revenue in the past three years and earnings near the top of our guidance range,” said in a press release Gary Dickerson, president and CEO. “These results demonstrate that Applied is delivering the enabling products and services our customers need as they transition complex new devices into volume production”.

The company said Q2 orders were $2.52 billion, up 11% sequentially and down 4% year over year.

For the current quarter ending in July, the maker of chipmaking equipment expects revenue of $2.49 – $2.59 billion, and EPS to range from 31 cents to 35 cents. That compares to consensus of $2.51 billion and 33 cents.

Liquidity: As of April 26, 2015, Applied Materials had cash and cash equivalents of $3.1 billion, essentially flat compared with October 26, 2014. Long-term debt was $1.95 billion.

King Digital Entertainment plc (KING) shares are down $1.70, or 11.30%, to $13.29 in after-hours trading Thursday after the company reported its first quarter earnings results.

The interactive entertainment company posted earnings of $0.61 per share on revenues of $569.51 million, down 6.1% from a year ago. Analysts were expecting EPS of $0.53 on revenues of $554 million.

Gross bookings fell 6% on a yoy-basis to $604 million from $641.10. The company said that excluding the impact of changes in foreign exchange rates, sequential gross bookings would have increased by approximately 7%. In its outlook, King Digital said it expects the mid-year period to be seasonally softer, with Q2 gross booking declining sequentially to $490 – $520 million.

Profitability-wise, KING has a t-12 profit and operating margin of 25.33% and 32.39%, respectively. The $4.72 billion market cap company reported $661.3 million in its most recent quarter.

KING currently prints a one year return of about 13% and a year-to-date return of 8.48%.

The chart below shows where the equity has traded over the last 52 weeks.

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (LOCO) dropped $3.26 to $25.80 in after-hours trading after it reported fiscal-first quarter earnings.

The Mexican restaurant company handed in earnings of $0.18 per share on revenue of $90.43 million, beating Wall Street estimates of $0.17 per share on revenue of $88.50 million. Net income was $6.8 million, or $0.17 per share (diluted), compared to net income of $5.5 million, or $0.18 per diluted share a year earlier. Comparable company-operated restaurant sales in the first quarter increased 3.5%.

Steve Sather, President and CEO of El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., stated, “We are very pleased with our first quarter results, which once again demonstrate strong operating momentum through solid sales and earnings growth.”

Although the company surpassed analysts’ estimates on both the top and bottom line, the company issued a weak earnings guidance. For full fiscal year 2015, LOCO provided EPS guidance of $0.67 – $0.71 versus consensus of $0.70 per share.

Cash Position: As of April, 2015, El Pollo’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $8.58 million, compared to $11.5 million at Dec. 31, 2014. The $1.09 billion market cap company reported $150.7 million in debt in its most recent quarter.

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