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Applied Materials Q1 Revenue Sharply Down, But Outlook Positive (AMAT)

Thursday, February 14, 2013 6:20 AM
Although Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) reported sharp drop in fiscal first-quarter revenue and earnings, shares of the world’s largest chipmaker gained in aftermarket trading on Wednesday as quarterly results edged past Street’s estimate even as it provided upbeat guidance on the current quarter thanks to improving demand for both semiconductors and LCDs. Lately, the semiconductor industry-- which is highly cyclical and keeps oscillating between boom and bust period, had been reeling under tremendous pressure due to fragile industrial demand. In the recently concluded quarter, the Company’s profit plunged 71%, mainly due to weakness in solar panels and display markets. However, the orders are picking up from the first quarter. The company said on Wednesday that orders climbed 44% in the first quarter from the year earlier period, thanks to pick up in demand for semiconductor and display equipment. For the fiscal second quarter, Applied Materials anticipates earnings to be in the range of 9 cents to 15 cents a share while revenue is expected to increase 15% to 25% from the preceding quarter, or $1.8 billion to $1.96 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting Applied Materials to report earnings of 11 cents a share on revenue of $1.8 billion. For the fiscal first quarter ended January 27, the Company reported net income of $34 million or 3 cents a share, compared to $117 million or 9 cents a share. Stripping out onetime items, earnings came at 6 cents a share. Revenue during the period slumped 28 percent to $1.57 billion. Analysts had expected the company to report earnings of  3 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $1.55 billion, according to Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate.

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