) reported a second-quarter loss of 23 cents per share. Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to neutral from sell.
Analyst Thomas Diffely says the results were in-line with his forecast. He says recent cost reduction efforts combined with new product traction and improving industry fundamentals counterbalances his long-term structural concerns for the semi test industry, prompting him to upgrade the stock.
He says better-than-expected second-quarter orders ($349 million, vs. $325 million), accelerating third-quarter revenue projections (up 12% sequentially), combined with an industry rising off trough levels, should provide momentum into 2006.
Diffley narrowed his 50 cents 2005 loss estimate to a 35 cents loss, and raised 40 cents 2006 EPS forecast to 60 cents EPS.