PRI Automation Beats Fourth-Quarter Estimates

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PRI Automation

(PRIA)

beat analysts' expectations for the fourth quarter, as the company turned a profit after reporting a loss in the year-ago period.

The Billerica, Mass., company, which supplies automation systems and software to the semiconductor industry, reported fourth-quarter income of $1.5 million, or 6 cents a diluted share, excluding a charge. The company had a loss of $5.1 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts expected the company to earn 4 cents a share for the quarter, according to

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

PRI's fourth-quarter net revenue rose to $75.5 million from $41.9 million.

PRI projected that net revenue in fiscal 2001 would grow at least 40%. For the first quarter, the company expects revenue in the low $90 million range and earnings of 14 cents to 16 cents a share. Wall Street expects first-quarter earnings of 15 cents.

Shares of PRI were recently trading up 63 cents, or 3.1%, to $20.63 in

Nasdaq

activity.