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Novellus Misses Earnings Estimates

First-quarter bookings fall sequentially.

Novellus Systemsundefined missed Wall Street's first-quarter profit expectations as the company faced slackening demand for its chipmaking equipment.

The San Jose, Calif., company said sales for the three months ended March 31 totaled $397 million, compared with $366 million at this time last year.

Novellus earned $53.8 million, or 42 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting Novellus to earn 44 cents a share on sales of $400 million.

While net income was more than double the $24.7 million Novellus earned a year ago, last year's results included roughly $13 million in restructuring charges. Backing out those charges from last year's comparison, Novellus saw its profit grow 60% year over year.

Shares of Novellus slipped 46 cents to $32.25 in recent extended trading.

"The first quarter results represent another solid quarter of execution," said CEO Richard Hill in a statement. "We remain focused on initiatives to strengthen our product portfolio and improve our customer responsiveness, which will enable us to grow our market share and improve our financial performance."

Novellus said its bookings in the first quarter declined 6.7% sequentially. A year ago, Novellus saw first-quarter booking surge by 18%.

The company did not provide specific financial guidance in its earnings release, although management was scheduled to hold a conference call discussing the first-quarter results with analysts later Wednesday.