Japan’s Advantest returns to Q2 profit, outlook murky

* Q2 op profit Y2.93 bln vs analyst consensus of Y4.4 bln

* Analysts see 2010/11 op profit at Y15.9 bln

* Slowing PC memory sector clouds Advantest’s outlook

* Shares down 1.6 pct before results vs Nikkei’s 0.2 pct fall

TOKYO, Oct 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Japanese chip tester maker
Advantest Corp (6857.T: ) returned to profit in the latest quarter
on a recovery in chip investment, but slowing growth in the
computer memory industry has clouded its outlook.

Advantest, which ranks No. 2 globally after U.S.-based
Teradyne (TER.N: ), posted a 2.93 billion yen ($35.87 million)
operating profit for July-September, against a 3.5 billion yen
loss during the same period last year.

Sales more than doubled to 28.6 billion yen.

The profit result fell a tad short of the average estimate
for a 4.4 billion yen profit in a poll of three analysts by
Reuters.

Signs of slowing growth in PC sales have prompted DRAM
producers to grow cautious on buying new equipment, offsetting
the positive impact of large investments planned by chip giants
Intel Corp (INTC.O: ) and Samsung Electronics Co (005930.KS: ).

Advantest does not provide earnings forecasts, but analysts
on average estimate a 15.9 billion yen profit for the year to
March, according to a poll of 14 brokerages by Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S.

That would compare with a loss of 11.6 billion yen last
financial year.

Shares in Advantest have dropped about 30 percent so far this
year, underperforming a 10 percent fall in the benchmark Nikkei
average (.N225: ).

The stock closed down 1.6 percent at 1,683 yen before the
results. The Nikkei ended down 0.2 percent.
(Reporting by Sachi Izumi; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

Japan’s Advantest returns to Q2 profit, outlook murky