Applied Materials Degrades Further

In line with Applied Materials' profit warning earlier this month, the semiconductor equipment maker swung to a first-quarter loss as sales fell 36%.
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SAN FRANCISCO --

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

is who we thought they were -- unfortunately.

In line with the semiconductor equipment maker's profit warning earlier this month, the company swung to a first-quarter loss as sales fell 36%.

Applied Materials said Tuesday that it posted a loss of $132.9 million, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter ended Jan. 25, compared with a year-ago profit of $262.4 million, or 19 cents a share.

The company's results were hit by a $133 million restructuring charge from a cost-cutting program announced in November.

Excluding charges, the company posted a break-even profit. Gross profit margin dropped to 29.4% from 44.8% a year earlier.

First-quarter sales fell to $1.33 billion from $2.09 billion a year earlier.

The company didn't immediately provide a forecast for the second quarter, but first-quarter new orders fell to $903 million from $2.5 billion a year earlier.

Shares of Applied, which fell 45 cents, or 4.4% in Tuesday's broad market selloff, were off an additional 2 cents in after-hours trading to $9.67.

Shares of semiconductor makers and their equipment suppliers have been wallowing near 52-week lows as companies suffer a decline in end demand and resulting inventory bloat. Two weeks ago, chip-equipment maker

KLA-Tencor

(KLAC) - Get Report

offered a fiscal third-quarter profit forecast below Wall Street analyst estimates.