Camtek

(Nasdaq:CAMT) has not warned of any change in its expectations for 2001. Piper Jaffray has cautiously elected to lower its forecasts anyway, but reiterated its Buy rating.

Based on the murky visibility in Camtek's market, of inspection kits for printed circuit boards, Piper Jaffray analysts Robert Goldman and Kathy Robertson are worried about slowing orders and revenues.

They did not change their forecasts for the first quarter, leaving them at $15.8 million revenues and earnings of 14 cents per share. But conversations with manufacturers of PCBs led them to lower forecasts for the year. From expectations of $68.3 million revenues for the year, they now expect $61.8 million, a drop of 6%. They also cut the anticipated EPS by 10%, from 59 cents to 53 cents.

As for 2002, the key problem remains low visibility, they say.

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They have better news for Camtek's share price, which they believe already incorporates lowered expectations. The better visibility gets, the more its share price will improve, they predict, and remain optimistic for the long run.

The analysts also predict that Camtek shares will be less affected by economic developments and more by the behavior of its rivals, such as

Orbotech

(Nasdaq:ORBK).

One of Camtek's strong points is its cash in hand. With $36 million, it has breathing room. Its shares are trading at a multiple of 8.7 for its expected 2001 profits. The analysts conclude that long-term investors will be rewarded, and reiterate their Buy recommendation for the share.