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Applied Films credits Asian market for fiscal 3Q results

Reporting higher bookings, revenues and earnings in its fiscal 3Q, Applied Films Corp. attributed the results to growth in Asian flat panel display markets.
“We“re pleased with the record number of …

Reporting higher bookings, revenues and earnings in its fiscal 3Q, Applied Films Corp. attributed the results to growth in Asian flat panel display markets. “We“re pleased with the record number of display orders we got in the 3Q, many out of Korea and Taiwan,” Chief Executive Thomas Edman said in a conference call with analysts. “We don“t see any slowdown of activity in the 4Q, either.” The company, based in Longmont, Colorado, reported 3Q earnings of USD 3.7 million, or USD 0.24 a diluted share, up from USD 484,000, or USD 0.04 a share, a year ago. On a pro forma basis, the company reported earnings of USD 0.28 a share, versus USD 0.13 a share in the year-ago quarter. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call was USD 0.29 a share. Net revenues for the 3Q were USD 58.2 million, up 31% from USD 44.2 million in same period in 2003. “We“re pleased with our fiscal 3Q results, which were consistent with our guidance for the quarter, in spite of increased R&D (research and development) spending for the development of new products,” Edman said. Applied Films“ research and development expenses rose to USD 4.7 million in the 3Q from USD 3.6 million a year ago. The company manufactures thin film coating application equipment for markets such as flat panel display, architectural, automotive and solar glass, electronics and consumer products packaging. Edman blamed customer demand for shorter turnarounds between new generations of equipment and a strong euro for the increase in costs. The strong euro versus the U.S. dollar increased the company“s expenses by 14% from the same period in 2003, said Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Firestone. “We“ll continue to work on cost reductions to help us stay competitive in light of the strong euro,” Firestone said. Some of the cost-cutting measures include sourcing fabrication parts in Asia, continuing to create cost-effective equipment designs and reducing supplier costs because of increased order volumes, he said. Applied Films remains optimistic about its growth opportunities in Asia, Firestone said, noting that the company increased its workforce to 533 from 507 in the previous quarter. “We mostly added sales and service personnel in Asia,” he said. The company expects revenue in the fiscal 4Q of between USD 67 million and USD 69 million, and earnings per share between USD 0.17 – 0.20. Applied Films recently acquired a division of Helix Technology Corp. in Taiwan and estimates it will take a one-time USD 2.2 million charge related to the acquisition in the 4Q.

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