updated 2/18/2004 6:12:18 PM ET 2004-02-18T23:12:18

Applied Materials Inc., the world’s largest maker of chip-manufacturing equipment, swung to a profit in the latest quarter as the rebounding industry continued to boost demand.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company reported net income of $82 million, or 5 cents a share, for its fiscal first quarter ended Feb. 1. That compares with the previous year’s loss of $65.7 million, or 4 cents a share.

Revenue rose 48 percent to $1.56 billion from $1.05 billion.

Excluding charges for realignment activities, Applied Materials said it would have earned $200 million, or 12 cents a share, during the period.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings, excluding items, of 8 cents a share on revenue of $1.32 billion.

New orders came to $1.68 billion for the first quarter, up 32 percent from $1.28 billion in the fourth quarter and up 66 percent from $1.02 billion in the first quarter last year.

Things have been looking up for Applied Materials as an uptick in computer sales has fueled demand for semiconductors.

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