DuPont Photomasks

(DPMI)

reported a 46% drop in quarterly earnings as demand for its products, which are used in semiconductor manufacturing, remained weak.

DuPont Photomasks said it earned $4.9 million, or 26 cents a share, in its fiscal third quarter, compared with a profit of $9 million, or 48 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The results in the latest quarter include a gain of $10.4 million for the sale of its photoblanks business unit and various other special items.

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Excluding items, the company had pro forma earnings of $200,000, or 1 cent a share, versus $9.5 million, or 50 cents a share, a year ago. DuPont Photomasks said its pro forma earnings in the third quarter of this year were helped by a better-than-expected tax rate, as its earnings mix shifted from higher-tax to lower-tax regions.

Applying the tax rate at the end of the second quarter would have resulted in a pro forma loss of 3 cents a share in the third quarter, DuPont Photomasks said, which was in line with analysts' estimates.

The company expects a fourth-quarter loss of 2 cents to 10 cents a share, on revenue of $87 million to $92 million. Analysts were predicting earnings of 7 cents on sales of $90.6 million.

In recent trading, shares of DuPont Photomasks were losing $4.58, or 10.3%, at $40.09.