) to hold from buy.
Analyst Max Schuetz says his downgrade stems from a worsening outlook for semiconductor capital equipment. He notes his team on Monday cut estimates for its universe to reflect a cyclical slowdown and the secular trend of increased capital efficiencies in 300mm wafers, which allows companies to spend less for equivalent productivity.
Schuetz says Newport has significant exposure to the weakened chip capital equipment environment. As a result, he cut his $49 million third-quarter revenue estimate to $48 million and cut the $0.01 earnings per share to breakeven.
He also cut the $186.6 million 2002 revenue estimate to $184.4 million, and widened the $0.01 loss to a $0.02 loss. Finally, Scheutz cut the $229.3 million 2003 revenue estimate to $213.9 million and trimmed the $0.44 earnings per share estimate to $0.33 per share.