Foundry, Memory Orders Lift Applied Materials

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Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) reported first quarter fiscal 2013 results after markets closed today. For the quarter, the semiconductor equipment maker posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.06 on revenues of $1.57 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.18 on revenues of $2.19 billion. These results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.03 and $1.55 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, Applied posted EPS of $0.03.

Net sales in the company’s energy and environmental solutions fell 26% in the quarter compared to sales in the same period a year ago. The group posted an adjusted operating loss of $44 million and a GAAP operating loss of $54 million. This is the group that makes equipment for the solar industry and it has been struggling for a couple of years now.

For the second quarter, Applied expects net sales to rise 15% to 25% sequentially and forecasts adjusted EPS of $0.09 to $0.15. Based on Applied’s sales estimates, revenues should be in the range of $1.73 to $1.96 billion. The consensus estimate calls for EPS of $0.10 on revenues of $1.79 billion.

The company’s backlog increased 31% sequentially and gross margins rose to 39.8% on a non-GAAP basis. Applied’s silicon systems group saw orders rise 84% in the first quarter, primarily on the strength of orders for foundry equipment.

Applied’s shares closed at $13.77 today, and are up 2.4% in after-hours trading, at $14.10, a new 52-week high if it holds. The current 52-week range is $9.95 to $13.94. The consensus target price for the shares was around $12.90 before today’s report.

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