Semitool ( SMTL) posted strong first-quarter numbers but warned of a steep second-quarter earnings shortfall.

The Kalispell, Mont., chip equipment company made $5.7 million, or 18 cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from the year-ago $63,000, or less than a penny a share. Revenue rose 23% from a year ago to $68 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 12-cent profit on sales of $65.2 million.

"We have been highly focused on building market share for our copper plating and front-end-of-line cleaning applications, and our strong first quarter financial performance reflects the success of our efforts," said CEO Larry Murphy. "We are especially encouraged by the growing rate of repeat business we are receiving."

Less encouraging was the company's second-quarter guidance, which calls for a profit of 2 cents to 4 cents a share on revenue of $55 million to $57 million. Analysts were looking for an 18-cent profit on sales of $70 million.

Shares were halted in after-hours action Wednesday after falling 23 cents during regular trading to $12.01.

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