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SpeedFam-IPEC hits first-quarter targets

SpeedFam-IPEC posted a loss of $7.6 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $74.7 million, in line with analysts' estimates.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the semiconductor-equipment maker to lose 25 cents a share in the quarter.

SpeedFam-IPEC (Nasdaq: SFAM) shares closed off 88 cents to $12.50 ahead of the earnings report.

The $74.7 million in sales marks a 48 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $11 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $50.3 million.

"We continue to gain confidence in the long-term competitive advantages of our new Momentum(TM) universal CMP system," said CEO Richard Faubert in a prepared release. "We continue to see strong demand for CMP tools and expect to enjoy revenue growth of approximately 40 percent in fiscal year 2001 over the previous year, while growing market share on a year-over-year basis."

SpeedFam shares moved up to a 52-week high of $29.88 in March after falling to a low of $9.56 in October.

Four of the six analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."

Analysts are expecting it to lose 13 cents a share in the fiscal year.