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KLA-Tencor 4Q Net Surges As Product Sales Soar, Margins Rise

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES KLA-Tencor's (KLAC) fiscal fourth-quarter profit more than doubled as the semiconductor-equipment maker reported surging product sales, while service fee revenue also increased and operating margins jumped. The company, which makes systems that monitor semiconductor wafer production, has reported strong revenue growth for more than a year as global demand for computer chips rebounded sharply. Rival Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) on Wednesday reported its fiscal fourth-quarter profit slipped 10% due to bigger restructuring charges and higher expenses, masking revenue growth. For the quarter ended June 30, KLA-Tencor reported a profit of $245 million, or $1.43 a share, up from $113.1 million, or 66 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as restructuring, earnings rose to $1.50 a share from 70 cents a year earlier. Revenue improved 60% to $892.4 million. Earlier this month, the company projected results would be at "the upper end" of the April view of $1.28 to $1.44 in earnings and $840 million to $900 million in revenue. Operating margin climbed to 38.6% from 28.8%. Product sales, which provide a bulk of the top-line figure, increased 73% while service fees were up 15%. Shares closed down slightly in Thursday trading and fell another 0.5% to $41.50 after-hours. -By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480;

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