By Micah Maidenberg

 

Applied Materials Inc. said sales rose 23% in its latest quarter, as the developer of equipment used to fabricate semiconductor chips shrugged off challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In June, the company's finance chief said at an investor conference that the coronavirus had introduced another layer of complexity into how Applied's customers were thinking about their businesses but characterized the overall demand environment as strong.

Overall, Applied reported more than $4.39 billion in sales for its fiscal third quarter that ended July 26, up from $3.56 billion in the comparable period in 2019. Analysts predicted $4.19 billion in sales, according to FactSet.

Net income rose to $841 million, or 91 cents a share, from $571 million, or 61 cents a share, the year earlier. The company's adjusted profit of $1.06 a share was ahead of the consensus estimate of 95 cents.

"Applied Materials is operating at pre-COVID levels of productivity," Chief Executive Gary Dickerson said.

The company said it spent $200 million on share repurchases in the quarter, a departure from the many other companies that have halted stock buyback programs due to uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Applied reported some temporary incremental higher costs for employee compensation because of the pandemic.

 

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 13, 2020 16:43 ET (20:43 GMT)

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