) posted a $0.33 first quarter loss vs. $0.22 EPS on a 75% sales drop. Goldman Sachs widened its loss estimate for Credence. The firm maintains its market underperform rating on the shares.
Analyst James Covello says the company's $0.28 first quarter operating loss (excluding amortization) was $0.04 narrower than his $0.32 loss estimate and the Wall Street consensus forecast of a $0.33 loss. He says upside was driven by higher than guided margins due to a shift in the product mix. Covello widened his $0.73 calendar 2002 loss estimate to a $1.02 loss as he expects Credence's business to remain flat for several quarters. He set a breakeven calendar 2003 estimate. The analyst maintains his market underperform rating as product cycle and market share issues may drive the stock down in the near-term.