Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) was supposed to jump today as it rides a resurgent semiconductor market to new heights. The fact that it didn't is good news for investors on the sidelines.

In the second quarter, Applied's sales rose 25% year over year to $2.9 billion, while non-GAAP earnings took a 72% leap to $0.38 per share.

The energy and environmental solutions segment saw sales growing by 34% compared to the first quarter, though orders for these solar-panel materials are now slowing down a little bit. By contrast, the mainstay silicon systems division reported a 3% sequential revenue drop, followed by 7% higher order volume.

But the real star of the show is the flat-panel display group. Sales rose a modest 7% to $158 million, but orders increased by a massive 80%. Demand for touchscreens, OLED panels, and "advanced mobile displays" drove that stellar jump. This makes Applied an alternative to OLED specialist Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL) for investors who want exposure to the technology, but prefer large revenues or respectable dividend yields in their holdings.

And speaking of terrific dividends, Applied continues to pour sugar on its shareholders. In the second quarter, Applied bumped its quarterly dividend by another 14% to $0.08 per share, and also bought back a net $62 million of its own shares. Other than Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), which is this company's largest customer, you'd be hard-pressed to find a stronger dividend with more headroom for growth than Applied's in the chip sector.

Foolish dividend guru Jordan DiPietro laid down some cold, hard cash on Applied Materials last month in anticipation of an earnings-driven pop. That didn't quite happen. Applied shares are trading sideways today on tepid volume -- almost as if Mr. Market took a nap when the results were reported.

Feel free to treat this missing boost as a buy-in opportunity -- or just keep a close eye on this stock in order to pounce on deeper drops. Add Applied Materials to your watchlist, and you'll be good to go.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Applied Materials. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Universal Display and Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.