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Applied Materials ‘is back and bigger than ever,’ Jim Cramer says

Cramer's Mad Dash: Applied Materials spikes

Applied Materials bucked the trend for tech companies in China last quarter, leading it to better-than-expected quarterly results, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Friday.

"Are you tired of China being weak, hearing about those stories? Well, 'China is probably our strongest region,'" Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street," citing the company's conference call.

This is "maybe one of the most bullish [conference] calls I've heard in years. They have fabulous business record revenues in China, they have 3D flash, … unbelievable," he said.

Applied Materials reported adjusted second-quarter earnings per share of 34 cents on revenue of $2.45 billion on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Reuters expected the firm to report earnings per share of 32 cents on revenue of $2.43 billion.

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The firm also posted a higher-than-expected profit guidance for the third quarter.

"AMAT is back, and it's bigger than ever. It's like 'Gandhi 2,' if they had done a sequel," Cramer said.

Applied Materials' stock closed up nearly 14 percent on Friday, it's best day since Nov. 11, 2008.

Wall Street analysts rewarded the company's strong quarterly report and upbeat guidance, with at least eight analyst firms raising their price target on the stock, including Pacific Crest.

"Applied Materials remains one of the best-positioned companies in the semiconductor equipment space," they said in a Thursday note to clients, citing strong demand for organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) and 3D flash memory.

Pacific Crest raised its price target on Applied Materials to $26 from $23. The stock traded near $22.65 Friday.

"Applied Materials should expand its dominance in the semiconductor equipment industry, as it has refocused efforts to increase R&D and take advantage of expanding market opportunities in etch, deposition and process control segments," they said.

The company's stock has been on a roll this year, rising more than 21 percent.

AMAT shares in 2016

Source: FactSet

Disclosures: Pacific Crest makes a market in Applied Materials. Cramer's trust did not own Applied Materials stock when this story was published.