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Applied Materials Expects First Quarter Shortfall

Applied Materials (AMAT) sees Q1 revenue 7%-10% below early guidance and expects EPS to also to fall short.

Goldman Sachs analyst Gunnar Miller cut his estimates. He says the news is not surprising in light of recent competitor reports and customer capital expenditure inputs. The analyst says telecom chip inventory build, slower PC sales and slower economic growth is causing customer revisitation of capital spending plans.

Miller cut his $2.67 fiscal 2001 (October) EPS estimate to $1.70 and $3.46 fiscal 2002 EPS forecast to $2.25. He says AMAT shares could settle in the mid-$40s as short covering/Fed easing rally subsides, but sees 40% upside to his $70 price target on AMAT shares over the next 12 months. The analyst maintains the stock on its recommended list.

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