Applied Materials share rise on strong forecast

NEW YORK (AP) ? Applied Materials Inc. said Thursday that its net income fell by 77 percent in its fiscal first quarter weighed by acquisition costs and lower revenue.

Its profit adjusted for one-time items topped Wall Street expectations and management gave an upbeat outlook for the current quarter. The company’s shares rose 4.5 percent in extended trading following the earnings report.

Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter said that global demand for mobile devices is driving investment by its semiconductor customers.

“As a result, we see solid order momentum and an improved outlook overall for our second quarter,” he said.

Applied Materials said it expects its net sales for its fiscal second quarter to be up 5 percent to 15 percent from the first quarter, and that adjusted net income is forecast at between 20 cents and 28 cents per share. The company had previously forecast adjusted net income of 8 to 16 cents per share and analysts on average had been expecting a profit of 16 cents per share.

Shares of Applied Materials gained 59 cents to $13.80 in aftermarket trading, after closing up 31 cents at $13.21.

For the three months ending Jan. 29, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it earned $117 million, or 9 cents per share. That compared with $506 million, or 38 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Not including one-time acquisition costs, the company said it earned 18 cents per share. By that measure, analysts on average had expected a profit of 12 cents per share, according to FactSet.

For the first quarter, net sales quarter fell to $2.19 billion, from $2.69 billion a year ago.

Total operating expenses increased to $607 million, from $462 million, on higher research, development and other costs. Income from operations fell to $179 million, from $674 million.

The results for the quarter include operations for Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates. Applied Materials completed its acquisition of the company in the quarter.