KLA-Tencor Corp.'s (KLAC) second-quarter profit soared as product sales nearly doubled and revenue easily beat the semiconductor-equipment maker's own expectations.

KLA-Tencor, which makes systems that monitor semiconductor wafer production, has returned to profitability after a difficult stretch as global demand for computer chips has come roaring back. Rival Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) on Wednesday said its fiscal second-quarter earnings more than tripled as results surged above guidance.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company reported a profit of $185.5 million, or $1.09 cents a share, up from $21.8 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as stock-based compensation and goodwill charges, earnings rose to $1.10 a share from 28 cents. Revenue increased 74% to $766.3 million.

The company in October guided for earnings of $1 to $1.10 on revenue of $700 million to $740 million.

Products sales, which provided 82% of total revenue, almost doubled, while service fees climbed 10%.

Shares fell 0.9% to $44.30 after hours. The stock is up 45% in the past year.

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