Goldman Keeps 'Market Perform' on Novellus

Analyst James Covello says chip equipment orders growth may slow without a pickup in IT spending

Goldman Sachs reiterates its market perform rating on Novellus Systems (NVLS ).

Analyst James Covello says management provided no explicit third quarter guidance, but did imply orders could grow only another 25%-30% without a rebound in IT spending. Covello believes this is a potential reason for caution. If the company guides to 25% sequential order growth on its third quarter conference call, and there's still no sign of a pick-up in IT spending, this would imply fourth quarter orders could be flat.

Covello notes the company's new second quarter earnings per share estimate of $0.08 still is below his $0.09 estimate. He maintains his $0.50 2002 and $1.50 2003 EPS estimates.

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