Semitool Sees Unexpected Loss

Chip-equipment maker Semitool ( SMTL) said delayed customer approval for a handful of new products would leave third-quarter results well below previous guidance.

Kalispell, Mont.-based Semitool expects to report a loss of 5 cents or 6 cents a share in the three months to June 30 on sales of $26 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were forecasting earnings of 5 cents a share on sales of $35 million.

"The first deliveries of leading-edge process chambers that we are placing on our advanced Raider platform caused certain global customers to take longer than anticipated to sign off on final acceptances," Semitool said. The company noted that the shipped tools produced deferred revenue that will be recorded when customers give final approval to the sales.

Semitool's stock was recently down $1.38, or 13.5%, to $8.89. The warning wasn't hurting other semiconductor equipment makers, as Applied Materials ( AMAT), Novellus ( NVLS) and KLA-Tencor ( KLAC) were all higher in early trading.

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