Novellus Systems

(NVLS)

, which makes semiconductor production equipment, reported Monday that its second-quarter earnings climbed sixfold, exceeding Wall Street's estimates by 4 cents a share, buoyed by a 149% increase in sales.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company posted earnings of 56 cents a diluted share, or $75.7 million, a 510% increase over the split-adjusted 10 cents, or $12.4 million, the company earned in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

had projected earnings of 52 cents a share in the latest quarter.

Richard Hill, the company's chairman and chief executive, credited the record sales figures to "robust capital spending by our customers for expanded capacity and advanced technology."

Shares rose 4 3/16, or 7% to close at 68 7/16 before the report, which was released after the market closed. In after-hours trading, Novellus shares were trading at 67 3/4, according to

Instinet

.