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ATMI Shares Fall 9% After Company Lowers Forecast

ATMI shares fell sharply after the company cut its first-quarter financial outlook, citing problems in its packaging business and operating expenses it was taking earlier than it had planned.

Shares in ATMI were down as much as 9% in early trading.

The company, which provides specialty materials to the semiconductor industry, lowered its earnings per share estimate to a range of 17 to 21 cents from 28 to 32 cents and shaved its revenue estimate to between $80 million and $84 million from $84 million to $88 million.

Wall Street analysts had on average been expecting earnings of 30 cents a share for the first quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.

ATMI said its packaging business is experiencing a performance shortfall this quarter due to a manufacturing defect in one of its product lines.

"We are aggressively addressing this situation and working closely with our customers to minimize disruptions," said ATMI Chief Executive Officer Doug Neugold in a statement.

The company also attributed the outlook cutback to higher expenses stemming from litigation costs that occurred earlier in the year than previously anticipated.

ATMI said it is achieving expected levels of sales in its material product lines but the product mix is also contributing to a gross profit shortfall.

Shares in ATMI were down $2.37, or more than 7% to $30.54 on Nasdaq after trading as low as $29.52 earlier.