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Applied Materials' 4th-Quarter Profit More Than Doubles

November 16, 2000|Bloomberg News

Applied Materials Inc. said profit more than doubled in its fiscal fourth quarter as revenue surged, but the leading semiconductor-equipment maker said first-quarter earnings and sales will miss analyst forecasts. Earnings in the quarter ended Oct. 29 climbed to $663.8 million, or 77 cents a share, from $303.8 million, or 37 cents, beating analyst expectations by a penny. Sales grew 81% to $2.92 billion, while new orders more than doubled to $3.6 billion. The company has benefited this year as chip makers added capacity to meet demand. Now, fears of a slowing economy and weaker growth in sales of cell phones, personal computers and other electronic devices "cloud the outlook" for profit and revenue for the second half of 2001, said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Bronson. The company now expects earnings in the range of 75 cents to 78 cents a share for the first quarter, rather than the 80-cent average estimate of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial. It anticipates sales of $2.9 billion to $2.95 billion, short of the $3.12-billion average estimate of seven analysts polled by IBES International Inc. Applied Materials closed up $1.31 at $42.75 on Nasdaq, before the earnings were released. In after-hours trading, they rose as high as $47.25, then fell back to about $43.

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