DANBURY, Conn. (AP) ¿ ATMI Inc. said Wednesday its third-quarter profit declined because of lower revenue, but sales improved sequentially and the results surpassed Wall Street's expectations.

The company, which provides specialty materials to semiconductor makers, posted a profit of $6.5 million, or 21 cents per share, down 35 percent from $10.1 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

The latest quarter's results included a tax benefit of 4 cents per share, but even without it the profit exceeded analysts' average estimate of 9 cents per share.

Revenue fell 16 percent to $72.6 million from $86.7 million.

On average, analysts were expecting sales of $68.5 million, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

The company said its performance during the quarter was "largely consistent with the market," and revenue from its major product lines improved sequentially.

Shares rose 19 cents to $18.19 in midday trading.
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