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Applied Materials Results, Outlook Top Forecasts

Applied Materials posted results that easily exceeded analysts' expectations and boosted guidance for the current quarter.

The semiconductor firm reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of 22 cents a share, excluding one-time items. Applied Materials reported a loss of 12 cents a share during the same period a year earlier.

Sales for the most recent quarter rose to $2.3 billion, up from $1.02 billion last year.

The company was seen earning 21 cents a share on revenue of $2.24 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Applied Materials boosted its revenue guidance for the current quarter to between 22 cents a share and 26 cents a share, excluding one-time items. Analysts' earlier per-share consensus stood at 20 cents.

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Shares of Applied Materials remained mostly unchanged in extended trading Wednesday.

The shares closed at $13.02 in the regular New York Stock Exchange session. Volume exceeded 35 million shares before the closing bell.

"During the quarter, we announced a 17 percent increase in our quarterly dividend and resumed our stock repurchase program," said Mike Splinter, CEO of Applied Materials.

"Our results were at the high end of our expectations despite an inventory charge for thin film solar equipment that lowered the gross profit margin by 3.6 percentage points or approximately $0.04 per share," said George Davis, CFO of the firm.