Varian Semiconductor

(VSEA)

has joined an ever-growing and ignominious list of chip-related companies, warning this morning that first-quarter revenue will be lower than expected, in part because of delivery delays requested by its customers.

The Gloucester, Mass., company now expects first-quarter revenue of $223 million to $228 million, compared with $109.8 million a year ago. But analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

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expected $229 million.

Varian said its forecast for the coming quarters of 2001 was less certain, given the "uncertain general economic outlook." The company now expects annual revenue growth of about 10%, in line with the revised industry outlook, and recurring net income growth of 15% to 25%.

Wall Street expects the company to post 2001 revenue of $880.7 million, compared with $687.7 million in 1999, with earnings per share of $3.35, up from $2.53 a year ago.

Shares of Varian recently rose $1.25, or 5.2%, to $25.56 in trading on the

Nasdaq

.