A stub from Barron's:
Applied Materials' Forecast: Hazy, Rain Possible
IT'S HARD TIMES FOR MAKERS OF SEMICONDUCTOR-PRODUCTION gear. "We're in the throes of a very, very bad downturn," says Jim Covello, the Goldman Sachs analyst who follows companies like Applied Materials. "The semiconductor capital-equipment business just isn't a growth industry any more."
No wonder Applied Materials and its Wall Street fans are waiting for the sun. Out of the semiconductor gloom, Applied shares (ticker: AMAT) have risen about 8% this year -- far outperforming Nasdaq, which has lost 14% -- to reach a recent $19. Meanwhile, analysts like Citigroup's Tim Arcuri are talking up the company's SunFab offering, a line ...