Novellus Systems

(NVLS)

shares rose Tuesday after the chip-equipment manufacturer boosted its financial targets due to cost cuts and improved demand from Japan.

Following their scheduled midquarter update, Novellus shares rose 3% to $26.72 as one of only a few semiconductor stocks advancing during the month's final trading day. Chip and chip-equipment stocks have

rallied substantially during May, but Tuesday proved to be a weak session for the broad market.

Novellus predicted second-quarter earnings between 20 cents and 22 cents a share, revenue between $325 million and $330 million, orders between $302 million and $310 million and shipments between $335 million and $355 million.

At the quarter's start, Novellus said it expected earnings between 17 cents and 20 cents a share, sales between $320 million and $330 million, orders between $285 million and $310 million and shipments from $320 million to $330 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 19 cents a share and revenue of $326 million, on average, according to Thomson First Call.

Novellus CEO Rick Hill said demand for flash memory remains strong and Japan represented a bright spot. In total, though, he said conditions are much the same as five weeks ago when Novellus reported first-quarter financial results.

"Overall, from a market standpoint, there's been no change in the overall dynamics of the semiconductor market or the semiconductor-equipment market," Hill says.