Lam Research

(LRCX) - Get Report

slightly surpassed analyst expectations forrevenues and earnings in its fourth fiscal quarter, but that's not sayingmuch: The chip-equipment maker still posted its second unprofitable quarterin a row.

Lam also forecast revenue for the quarter under way to come in nearly12% below analysts' current estimates, though projected earnings are inline with Street expectations.

The company issued a wide range of guidance on orders for the Septemberquarter, reflecting the prevailing uncertainty about near-term demand. Itsaid new orders will be flat to about 10% down sequentially, compared with the June quarter's sequential order growth of 41%.

Earlier on Tuesday, jitters over a

projected order decline of nearly 10% issued by

competitor Novellus

(NVLS)

cast a pall over chip-equipment stocks, includingLam Research. Tuesday the stock lost $1.45, or 9.4%, to close at $13.95.

After releasing its financial results, shares of the company gained apenny, or 0.08%, to $13.96 in trading after the close.

For its fourth fiscal quarter, the company posted a net loss of $31million or 24 cents a share a share. That includes a nontaxable loss of$26 million on equity derivative contracts in Lam stock and a restructuringreserve recovery of $4.1 million. Last quarter, excluding a one-time gain,Lam lost 12 cents per share.

Excluding the special charges, June's net loss was 6 cents per share,slightly better than consensus estimates for a loss of 7 cents.

Revenue came in at $180 million, slightly above expectations for $174million. Sales were up 10% from the previous quarter, but remain 51% belowlast year's levels.

For next quarter, president Steve Newberry projected revenue will be$190 million to $200 million, with earnings per share between 1 cent and 3cents. That compares with current analyst projections of $215 million and 2cents, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

The company also revealed in its conference call that it saw a net lossof 200 employees in the most recent quarter, reducing head count to 2,500.In 2001, the company had a staff of 3,150.