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Novellus Systems Boosts Fourth-Quarter Outlook

Novellus Systems, a maker of semiconductor production equipment, boosted its fourth-quarter earnings outlook and said while that the industry remains stable, it's not as robust as it was in the first half of the year.

The company said during a conference call it now expects earnings between 54 cents and 57 cents a share, up from its earlier outlook of 49 cents to 53 cents a share.

Novellus sees revenue for the quarter at $430 million to $440 million, up from its earlier forecast of $415 million to $430 million.

Analysts, on average, are looking for earnings of 52 cents a share on sales of $424.4 million, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

Novellus, narrowed its outlook for order bookings to between $425 million to $445 million for the quarter. This is down 5 percent to 10 percent for sequentially, compared with its earlier bookings guidance of flat to down 10 percent.

The company narrowed its fourth-quarter shipment outlook to between $410 million and $420 million, compared with the earlier range of $410 million to $425 million.

Credit Suisse analyst Satya Kumar called the company's mid-quarter update "mixed," as the company narrowed its bookings and shipments outlook to the lower end of its prior guidance. He kept a "Neutral" rating on Novellus.