) to market perform.
Analyst Dennis Wassung says the chip-equipment maker was forced to lower its 2003 expectations due to a high level of subscription bookings, extended license durations and payment terms, and industry weakness. Wassung says he doesn't see any significant near-term catalysts for the stock. He notes management stated that the semiconductor industry continues to be challenging, and has been discussing limited customer visibility.
Wassung cut the 15 cents fourth quarter earnings per share estimate to two cents, which results in a new 2002 earnings per share estimate of 63 cents. He also cut the 94 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 44 cents, and notes that management expects flat bookings for 2003.