* Q1 EPS ex-items 15 cents vs Street view 2 cents
* Q1 revenue $343 mln vs Street view $332.5 mln
* Shares rise 0.7 pct after-hours
(Updates shares, adds executive comment, outlook)
By Ian Sherr
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 29 Chip-equipment maker
KLA-Tencor Corp (KLAC.O) gave stronger-than-expected forecasts
for current quarter revenue and earnings, underscoring a
semiconductor industry rebound.
KLA-Tencor, which managed a slim fiscal first-quarter
profit after losing money the three previous quarters, had been
expected to turn in a strong performance after good numbers
from rivals such as Novellus Systems (NVLS.O), which raised its
fourth-quarter outlook as demand for consumer electronics
begins to recover. [ID:nN21508048]
On Thursday, KLA forecast second-quarter adjusted earnings
of 24 to 30 cents a share on revenue of $420 million to $450
million. Analysts had been forecasting, on average, 12 cents of
earnings on revenue of $376.2 million.
"At this point, it feels like the worst is behind us," said
KLA-Tencor Chief Executive Richard Wallace, adding that the
company is seeing a broader range of customers moving ahead
with capital investment plans.
The company also said it will consider stock buybacks.
KLA-Tencor, which competes with Applied Materials Inc
(AMAT.O) to provide systems that monitor and analyze chip
products, on Thursday reported net income of $20 million, or 12
cents a share, compared with $19 million, or 11 cents a share,
a year earlier.
Excluding items, it earned 15 cents a share, sharply ahead
of the average analysts' estimate of 2 cents a share, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue for the first quarter fell to $343 million but
exceeded the average Wall Street estimate of $332.5 million.
KLA-Tencor's results are the latest positive sign from the
semiconductor industry as demand for consumer electronics
begins to recover, particularly spending on personal
Shares of KLA-Tencor closed 3.1 percent higher at $34.28 in
regular trading on the Nasdaq and rose another 0.7 percent to
$34.51 in after-hours trading.
(Editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Steve Orlofsky)