Photronics Reports Loss as Sales Slip

Photronics Inc., a maker of glass plates used in semiconductor manufacturing, on Tuesday posted a better-than-expected quarterly loss compared with a year-earlier profit as revenue fell 14.9 percent in a difficult market for chipmakers.

Photronics, whose customers include top cell phone chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc., reported a net loss of $8.5 million, or 26 cents per share, for the first quarter ended Feb. 2, compared with net income of $1.7 million, or 6 cents, a year earlier.Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 34 cents a share, according to tracking service Thomson First Call.

First-quarter revenue fell to $81.4 million from $95.7 million a year earlier. Photronics said sales fell 9.7 percent from the fourth quarter as customers closed wafer fabrication plants during the holidays. "Our immediate near-term focus is on positioning the company for its return to operating profitability," Sean Smith, the chief financial officer, said in a statement, adding that Photronics was aggressively controlling costs.

ThinkEquity Partners analyst Suresh Balaraman said Photronics turned in solid results, given the difficult market, and forecast flat to slightly higher sales in its second quarter compared with the first period.

"Based on what I'm hearing from the industry, things aren't getting any worse," Balaraman said.

Photronics, whose rivals include Dia Nippon Printing Co. Ltd., Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. (7911.T) and DuPont Photomasks Inc., will hold a conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

Shares in Photronics ticked higher to $11.85 in after-market U.S. trade after falling 41 cents to $11.56 Tuesday on Nasdaq.

600450 Photronics Reports Loss as Sales Slip

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