Applied Materials Inc. on Thursday reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of 23 cents a share on $2.26 billion in sales, compared with a profit of 15 cents a share on sales of $1.99 billion in the same period a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the semiconductor equipment maker earned 27 cents a share, which met the estimates of analysts surveyed by FactSet. For its first quarter, Applied Materials forecast earnings excluding one-time items of 25 cents to 29 cents a share, with revenue being flat or up by as much as 5% over its fourth-quarter results. Analysts had forecast Applied Materials to earn 31 cents a share on $2.39 billion for the quarter. Applied Materials shares fell more than 3% in after-hours trading.
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