Compared to the same period last year, the company grew net sales by 33% to $3.74 billion; increased gross margin by 3.1 points to 45.4%; grew operating margin by 6.2 points to 27.3%; and increased earnings per share (EPS) by 85% to $0.85. On a non-GAAP adjusted basis, the company increased gross margin by 2.9 points to 46.6%, grew operating margin by 5.9 points to 28.7%, and increased EPS by 72% to $0.86.
The company generated a record $1.37 billion in cash from operations, which represented 36% of revenue, and returned $482 million to shareholders through stock repurchases and cash dividends.
“With revenue and profits at all-time highs, Applied has tremendous momentum and a very positive outlook for the future,” said Gary Dickerson, president and CEO. “Our markets are growing with a broader set of demand drivers, and the breadth of Applied’s technology enables us to play a larger and more valuable role advancing the innovation roadmap in semiconductor and display.”
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, Applied expects net sales to be in the range of $3.85 billion to $4.0 billion; the midpoint of the range would be an increase of approximately 19%, year over year. Non-GAAP adjusted diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $0.86 to $0.94; the midpoint of the range would be an increase of approximately 36%, year over year.