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Aetrium to disappoint Street

The company announces that its financial results for the third quarter will be significantly lower than analysts' expectations.

Aetrium, a supplier of proprietary technologies and equipment that are used by the semiconductor industry, today announced that its financial results for the third quarter will be significantly lower than analysts' expectations.

The company also announced that it has reduced production in response to the current prolonged industry doldrums.

Aetrium anticipates revenue of approximately $12 million and a net loss of approximately 21 cents per share for the third quarter ended September 30, 1998. Analysts had projected that the company would lose 8 cents per share compared to a year ago's net of 26 cents a share, according to First Call.

The company said it is looking at revenues of approximately $12 million for the fourth quarter, but a significantly reduced loss compared to the third quarter due to anticipated cost reductions. However, Aetrium's management cautioned that visibility on bookings and revenue is still poor.

"The lower than expected revenue is directly related to a continuing overcapacity for our older products," said Aetrium president and CEO Joseph Levesque. "We are taking steps to reduce costs by more than $1 million on a quarterly basis and improve operating efficiencies, while maintaining our manufacturing and customer service infrastructure and continuing strategic product development programs.

Shares of the company are trading near their 52-week lows. The stock closed yesterday at 5.88 and has traded as high as 28.25 and as low as 5.5 during the past 52 weeks.