Applied Materials, chip gear makers gain

Summary:Applied Materials starred in a semiconductor equipment rally Wednesday, as analysts said the stock may have hit rock bottom and is ready for a turnaround. The company beat lowered expectations for its fiscal first quarter Tuesday, but warned that the next few months are going to be grim.

Applied Materials starred in a semiconductor equipment rally Wednesday, as analysts said the stock may have hit rock bottom and is ready for a turnaround.

The company beat lowered expectations for its fiscal first quarter Tuesday, but warned that the next few months are going to be grim. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $558 million, or 66 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Jan. 28. After impressing with better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, the company then delivered a depressing outlook, ratcheting down projections for the current quarter to revenue of $1.9 billion to $2 billion and earnings of 32 cents to 37 cents per share.

Analysts agreed that Applied Materials' (amat) outlook was gloomy, but argued the worst may be over. If not, at least the bottom is near. The "It could have been worse" line was working with investors Wednesday. Applied Materials gained as did several of its competitors. Full story. --Tiffany Kary ZDNet Inter@ctive Investor

Topics: Hardware

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