After the bell Wednesday, Lam Research ( LRCX) delivered upside on the quarter ending in March.

Still, the chip equipment maker's shares were recently down 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $26.79 in after-hours trading. In regular trading, the stock closed down 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $26.82.

Lam posted revenue of $231.1 million, up 24% from last year's levels and above the consensus estimate for $216.5 million.

Net income totaled $19.2 million, up from $797,000 a year ago. On a per-share basis, profit amounted to 13 cents, 3 pennies ahead of expectations.

Lam said new orders of $350 million were up 29% over the prior quarter.

Citing improved profits, the company said it plans to retire its 4% convertible notes early by repaying them in full during the June 2004 quarter.

"The wafer fabrication equipment industry is in the early stages of a cyclical recovery. We expect demand to be robust over the next several quarters as semiconductor customers purchase equipment to produce their newest, most complex devices," said chief executive officer James Bagley, in a prepared statement.