AMAT’s Numbers Add Up

Applied Materials shares surged 5% late Tuesday after the chip equipment giant beat Wall Street profit forecasts and raised expectations for the current quarter.

AMAT’s pro forma quarterly earnings of 29 cents a share were two cents better than expected and up 20 cents a share from the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 23% to $2.28 billion, below $2.35 billion forecasts, but the company’s current quarter forecast of 27-28 cent earnings and flat to up 5% sales was potentially better than expected.

AMAT also said orders this quarter will be up 2-7%, an important predictor of future growth.

“Rapid customer acceptance of our new leading-edge platforms for chemical vapor deposition and metal etch, as well as strong demand for Applied’s service products, set the stage for future growth,” CEO Mike Splinter said in a statement.

Stocks soared during the day on an Alcoa takeover bid and GM upgrade. soared 10% after reporting much higher than expected quarterly earnings and sales, and Blue Nile rose 4% despite warning.

Himax and Shanda also gained on their results, while En Pointe and Interactive Intelligence fell on their earnings reports.

Axcelis gained on news that Applied Materials is dropping a competitive offering.

The Nasdaq rose 9 to 2459, the S&P 500 gained 11 to 1444, and the Dow surged 102 to 12,664. Volume rose to 2.65 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 23-9 on the NYSE, and 18-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 78% on the NYSE, and 66% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 186-26 on the NYSE, and 138-51 on the Nasdaq.

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