Tokyo Electron Forecasts Annual Loss on Solar Unit Writedown

Tokyo Electron Ltd., the chipmaking-equipment supplier that agreed to be bought by Applied Materials Inc., forecast a full-year loss after writing down the value of its solar unit.

The net loss will be 22 billion yen ($214 million) in the year ending March 31, 2014, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. That compares with an Oct. 29 forecast for net income of 23 billion yen.

A global surplus of photovoltaic equipment led to a 32.8 billion yen writedown of the solar panel unit as the company also announced 8.4 billion yen of charges to restructure plants. Chief Executive Officer Tetsuro Higashi said the company’s deal with Applied Materials wasn’t affected.

Tokyo Electron maintained its full year sales forecast of 605 billion yen and its projection for operating profit of 30 billion yen.

Santa Clara, California-based Applied Materials, the largest chipmaking-equipment supplier, agreed in September to acquire Tokyo Electron for $9.39 billion in stock in the largest deal for a Japanese company from outside the country.

“Tokyo Electron’s action today is a decision made independent of our proposed combination,” said Kevin Winston, a spokesman for Applied Materials. “Both companies will continue to operate as separate entities until the expected close of our merger.”

Tokyo Electron acquired OC Oerlikon AG’s solar business in 2012 for 250 million Swiss francs ($282 million).

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