Applied Materials Sinking on Lowered Outlook (AMAT)

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Semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) today offered lower full-year EPS and revenue forecasts than analysts had been expecting, at the same time that the company’s CEO projected the total market for wafer-making equipment would exceed $30 billion again in 2012. The company’s CFO gave the bad news:

Applied expects continued strength in our core semiconductor business to result in fiscal year 2012 revenue for the company in the range of $9.1 to $9.5 billion. We expect non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.85 to $0.95, including $0.07 to $0.08 of operating losses from our Energy and Environmental Solutions group.

The consensus estimate for full-year EPS had been $0.96, while the revenue estimate called for $9.61 billion. Those operating losses are due to a downturn in demand for new equipment at solar makers:

As a result of the sharp capacity-driven downturn in our solar and display equipment markets, these businesses are focused on reducing costs to improve profitability.

Applied’s shares are down about -2% at $12.56 in a 52-week range of $9.70-$15.97.