A tax adjustment helped lift MEMC's ( WFR) third-quarter earnings 64% from a year ago. The stock took a hit in late trading as earnings before the gain came in light, and the company announced a restatement.

The semiconductor wafer maker earned $97.9 million, or 43 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $59.7 million, or 27 cents a share, last year. The latest quarter included a net gain of 18 cents a share from the reversal of a tax valuation allowance. Analysts were expecting earnings of 29 cents a share before the charge.

Third-quarter sales rose 5% from a year ago to $288.3 million, driven by higher wafer volumes and increased sales of polysilicon to the solar energy market. Analysts were forecasting sales of $288.9 million.

"Wafer unit volumes continued to show strong growth as the semiconductor industry finished up its first full quarter following the inventory adjustment period," MEMC said. "In this quarter, we were also able to overcome several million dollars of operational cost impacts associated with the hurricanes and higher R&D expenses associated with SOI equipment installation."

The company expects to post revenue of $310 million to $313 million and a gross margin of about 39% in the fourth quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were forecasting revenue of $303.9 million.

MEMC also said it will downwardly restate first-quarter earnings by 8 cents a share after its accountant determined it got bad advice regarding the tax deductibility of interest payments to investors who redeemed a series of notes. On the advice of outside tax consultants, MEMC said, the company reversed a tax expense of $26.6 million in the first quarter related to the redemption. It now says $18.8 million of the amount shouldn't have been reversed and its filing an 8K with the Securities and Exchange Commission to detail the mistake.>

The shares fell 99 cents, or 5.1%, to $18.35 in late trading.

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