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The Cutting Edge | TECHNOLOGY BRIEFS

Internet Forecasts Batter Applied Materials

May 11, 2000|Bloomberg News

Applied Materials Inc., the world's biggest semiconductor-equipment maker, said fiscal second-quarter earnings more than tripled. Shares slid after the report as profit and orders missed the highest forecasts. Profit from operations rose to $454 million, or 55 cents a share, from net income of $143.3 million, or a split-adjusted 17 cents, a year earlier. Earnings met the average estimate from analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial, though they missed forecasts published on the Internet for profit as high as 60 cents. Orders, a measure of future sales, rose to $2.93 billion in the period ended April 30, lower than analysts' most optimistic estimates for $3 billion. Though sales climbed 87% to $2.19 billion, analysts said they didn't see much to applaud. Applied shares slid as low as $76.50 in trading after the report. Applied, which had gained 34% this year, was the most actively traded U.S. stock after markets closed. The shares had declined $6 to $84.63 in regular trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market before the release.

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