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Applied Materials CEO: 'The future of competition' is changing across industries, and it's fueling our business

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer caught up with Applied Materials President and CEO Gary Dickerson about his company's role in artificial intelligence and big data.
  • Dickerson highlighted a number of red-hot trends driving gains he's "never seen" in Applied Materials' 50-year history.
  • The CEO also doubled down on his company's bullish outlook for 2018.

Applied Materials President and CEO Gary Dickerson told CNBC on Friday that "there's never been a better time to be an investor" in his company in its 50-year history.

"The future of competition is going to change," Dickerson told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. "A.I. and big data are transforming major industries. We see this in retail today, health care, transportation, many, many, many different areas. And at the foundation of that technology is Applied Materials with materials innovation."

As companies invest in competing digitally via smart devices, better displays and streamlined service, Applied Materials, which provides key components to these products, is a direct benefactor, Dickerson said.

"We're firing on all cylinders," the CEO said. "That is fueling our business. That's something we've never seen in the history of our company."

In the era of A.I. and big data, Applied Materials sees several specific drivers contributing to its double-digit revenue and profit growth, Dickerson said.

The first is devices getting smarter. Sensor technology, memory power and data retention all fall in Applied Material's wheelhouse of products, giving it "fundamental" multi-year drivers, the CEO said.

"The memory business is also growing at a rate we've never seen before. All of these smart devices are creating a tremendous amount of data. Data's exploding," he told Cramer. "The profitability of memory companies is better than we've ever seen. And also, to really capture the value, you have to take the data and process it with high-performance computing. And the fundamental technology for high-performance computing and A.I., those materials come from Applied Materials."

Dickerson said that the smart device "explosion" will undoubtedly drive the semiconductor giant's revenue growth through 2018 and beyond.

But nothing trumps the single largest driver for businesses like his, Dickerson said.

"The last one, the biggest driver that we've ever seen in our lifetime that's going to change our world in the next 10 years, is A.I. and big data," the CEO said. "So you combine all of those things together — people have a hard time because they try to extrapolate from the past — we have some fundamental different drivers that are multi-year drivers in our display business and our semiconductor business, so we see [a] clear line of sight."

Watch Gary Dickerson's full interview here:

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