Credence Systems

(CMOS)

, a provider of test solutions for the semiconductor industry, said its third-quarter loss widened as it wrote off goodwill and took other charges.

The company lost $461 million, or $4.61 a share, in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $42 million, or 43 cents a share, a year ago. The third quarter results included $424 million write-off of goodwill and charges of $33 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to post a loss of 4 cents a share.

Third-quarter revenue declined about 2% from the year-ago period to $109.6 million.

For the fourth quarter, the company expects a loss of 13 cents to 15 cents a share on revenues of $105 million to $110 million. This guidance reflects an estimated charge of about $8 million to $10 million associated with headcount reductions. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are expecting a loss of 2 cents a share on revenue of $107.16 million.

Net orders for the third quarter of fiscal 2006 were $107.5 million, corresponding to a book to bill ratio of 0.98.

Shares dropped a nickel to $2.55.

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