Updated from 10:51 a.m. EDTTeradyne ( TER) cut its guidance for the first quarter late Monday, saying that the continued deterioration in the semiconductor equipment market has forced the company to further reduce costs. The North Reading, Mass., automated test equipment maker said it now expects to post a first-quarter loss, excluding items, of 40 cents to 42 cents a share on sales of $115 million to $120 million. Teradyne also said that sales in the second quarter will be "about flat with the first quarter." In its fourth-quarter report released in January, Teradyne forecast a loss of 28 cents to 31 cents a share, excluding special items, on revenue of $125 million to $145 million. On average, analysts expect Teradyne to post a first-quarter loss of 33 cents a share on sales $135 million, according to Thomson Reuters. The average forecast of revenue for the second quarter is $142.6 million, which would represent a 5.6% increase sequentially. "Global economic conditions and consumer demand further weakened this quarter, causing our customers to reduce their test needs to unprecedented levels," said President and CEO Mike Bradley, in a statement. "While there are some indicators suggesting that we have reached the bottom of this cycle, we cannot currently predict when we will see meaningful improvement in demand." Teradyne also said it will take steps to further lower its annualized costs by approximately $50 million, "with a majority of those savings estimated to be in place by the end of the second quarter."
The new reductions will bring Teradyne's total planned 2009 cost cuts to approximately $190 million, the company said. "We will continue to adjust our costs as necessary, while pressing ahead with new products and supporting our customers in this challenging market," it added. Shares of Teradyne slid 3 cents, or 0.7%, to close at $4.45. Among related companies, LTX-Credence ( LTXC) lost nearly 4%, and Advantest ( ATE) was finished down 0.8%. Among chip makers, Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) rose 4.6%, while rival Intel ( INTC) shed 3%.