February 12, 2008 / 9:10 PM / 12 years ago

Applied reports lower first quarter net profit

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O) on Tuesday posted a lower quarterly profit as revenue declined 8 percent amid a slump in the semiconductor equipment manufacturing industry.

The biggest producer of chipmaking equipment said net income for its first fiscal quarter declined to $262.4 million, or 19 cents per share, from $403.5 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $2.09 billion from $2.28 billion.

Analysts had expected a profit of 20 cents per share on revenue of $2.08 billion, according to averages on Reuters Estimates.

Chief Executive Michael Splinter has said he expects revenue in its fiscal 2008 to be little changed to slightly down, despite a forecast for capital spending in the chip industry to fall 5 percent to 15 percent this year.

Shares of Applied are up less than 1 percent so far this year. In the past 12 months, the stock has declined about 2 percent, compared with a 25 percent decline in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Reporting by Duncan Martell; Editing by Braden Reddall

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