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Applied Materials Sees Year Results Short Of Wall Street Views

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) forecast fiscal 2012 results just shy of Wall Street estimates due to a sharp capacity-driven downturn in its solar and display equipment markets. The company estimated earnings for the year ending in October at 85 cents to 95 cents a share on revenue of between $9.1 billion and $9.5 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect 96 cents a share on $9.59 billion. Applied Materials makes tools used to make chips, television screens and some solar panels, a sector that tanked in the second half of 2011 as a supply glut forced manufacturers to scale back orders for new equipment. The company said it expects continued strength in it core semiconductor business. Chief Executive Mike Splinter said in a Dow Jones Newswires interview Tuesday the solar industry will likely suffer from overcapacity for about a year, forcing the equipment maker to cut additional costs from its business. While 2012 could be tough, Splinter expects 2013 to be a "reasonable" and profitable year for Applied's solar business. The company reported last month its fiscal first-quarter profit slumped 77% on weaker sales and acquisition costs, though the semiconductor-equipment maker said recent orders would deliver a stronger result in the fiscal second quarter. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; melodie.warner@dowjones.com

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