Roberston Stephens Trims AMAT Outlook

Applied Materials' chip orders dip. Analyst revises expectations but restates strong buy rating

Robertson Stephens cut its estimates on computer chipmaker Applied Material (AMAT ) after the company posted first quarter earnings per share of $0.66 and cut its outlook for the second quarter to a range of $0.32 to $0.37.

Analyst Sue Billat kept her strong buy rating, but she cut fiscal year 2001 EPS estimates to $1.85, down from $2.54. She expects revenues to come in at $8.88 billion for 2001. Billat sees 20% growth in calendar year 2002, leading to revenues of $10.28 billion and EPS of $2.38.

She thinks this will be a short-lived downturn unless the U.S. economy heads into major recession. As the year progresses, she believes investors will likely look past the current down trend and focus on the next "upcycle." With shares trading at 17.3 times 2002 calendar year EPS, she believes the stock is trading at a significant discount to peak prices.

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