Earnings: Tower's earnings continue to crumble

Tower Semiconductor's net losses widened to $55.4m. from $39.4m. in the same period a year earlier due to depreciation and amortization expenses of almost $37m.

By YIGAL GRAYEFF
November 9, 2005 07:23
2 minute read.
tower semiconductor 88

tower semiconductor 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Several companies released third-quarter earnings on Tuesday with Tower Semiconductor's long-running misery continuing despite the recent appointment of Russel Ellwenger as chief executive. However, Ness Technologies and Given Imaging reported increased net profits for the three months ended September 30, while Lumenis said losses narrowed. Tower Semiconductor's net losses widened to $55.4m. from $39.4m. in the same period a year earlier due to depreciation and amortization expenses of almost $37m. Losses per share at the Migdal Haemek-based company, which makes customized chips from other companies' designs, widened to 83 cents from 60 cents while revenue slumped to $20.6m. from $35.1m. However, there was a ray of light in the darkness, with Tower saying it expects fourth-quarter revenue to increase from third-quarter levels to between $25m. and $28m. Ness Technologies, meanwhile, reported record net profit and revenue in the third quarter and increased its 2005 guidance. Net profit rose to $6m. from $3.7m., diluted EPS rose to 17 cents from 14 cents and revenue rose to $97.7m. from $77.2m. The bottom line benefited from a cut in expenses and the company said it would reduce costs further and lower its exposure to foreign exchange fluctuations. Ness, which provides information technology services, said it expects diluted EPS of 17-20 cents in the fourth quarter and revenue of $101m.-$104m. For 2005, the company said it now sees revenue of $381m.-$384m., up from a previously forecast range of $376.-$381m. but maintained its EPS forecast at 63-66 cents. Given Imaging's third-quarter net profit rose to $1.94m. from $114,000, diluted EPS was seven cents and sales rose to $19.8m. from $14.6m. The Yokneam-based company, which develops a tiny camera that fits inside a pill and is used to diagnose digestive ailments, said it sold a record number of its PillCam SB capsules. In addition, sales of its diagnostic systems rose to 153 from 129, primarily due to increased sales in the US. Elsewhere, Lumenis's third-quarter net losses narrowed to $1.8m. from $2m. although losses per share were unchanged at 5 cents. Revenue climbed to $72.8m. from $63.2m. Lumenis president and chief executive Avner Raz said the growth was "encouraging," because earnings have traditionally been weaker in the third quarter. He also expressed confidence that the company, which makes laser- and light-based devices for medical applications, was "on the right track."

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