Shares of Applied Materials Inc. climbed 2.5% in after-hours trade Thursday, following in-line fourth-quarter earnings and sales. The company reported net income of $336 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with $256 million, or 21 cents, in the year-earlier period. Excluding one-time items, earnings per share came to 29 cents, matching analyst expectations, according to FactSet. Net sales were up 5% to $2.37 billion, virtually in-line with the Street's expectation of $2.4 billion, as orders rose 7%. The company attributed the quarterly gains to growth in its chip, display and service businesses. Looking toward the fourth quarter, Applied Materials expects adjusted EPS in the range of 23 cents to 27 cents, compared with the FactSet consensus of 24 cents. Its shares traded up around $17 in after-hours trade after closing down 1.5% to $16.53 in the regular session.
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