A tough morning after for

Credence Systems

(CMOS)

.

Shares in the semiconductor services company fell sharply Tuesday after fourth-quarter earnings released late Monday were a penny short of expectations.

Recently, shares were down 70 cents, or 4.6%, to $14.58, even though the company narrowed its loss.

In the quarter ended Oct. 21, the company lost $22.1 million, or 35 cents a share, vs. a loss of $112 million, or $1.84 a share, a year ago. Analysts' expectations were for 34 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Revenue rose 34% to 57.8 million compared with 43.2 million a year ago. The company said, "Our expectations of a return to a cyclical growth pattern are bolstered by the significant growth in revenue in this last fiscal quarter."

For the current quarter, Fremont, Calif.-based Credence expects revenue of $63 to $66 million with a loss of 24 cents to 26 cents a share. The Thomson First Call consensus is for 23 cents a share.