Semiconductor equipment manufacturer Applied Materials Inc has reported first-quarter net income down 76.9% at $52.9m on revenue down 43.2% at $742.5m. Earnings per share for the quarter fell 76.7% to $0.14. Results include one-time acquisition charges of $5.0m and $32.2m for the quarter and year-ago quarter, respectively. Results also include one-time gains from litigation settlements of $20m and $80m, respectively. Ongoing EPS was $0.11, still enough to soundly beat Wall Street expectations of $0.06. Despite the year-over-year plunge due to the long slump in the overall semiconductor industry, the Santa Clara, California- based company says it has turned the corner, with new orders of $1.03bn for the quarter up significantly from $684m in the fourth quarter of 1998, even if anemic-looking compared to last year’s $1.29bn. Gross margin for the first fiscal quarter of 1999 was 43.2%, down from 48.1% for the year-ago period but up slightly from 42.3% in the prior quarter. Ongoing net income as a percentage of net sales was 5.7% for the first quarter of 1999, compared to 15.1% a year ago and 3.9% for the fourth quarter.