November 7, 2007 / 4:19 PM / 11 years ago

Credence shares fall after CFO quits

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Shares of Credence Systems Corp. CMOS.O fell more than 14 percent on Wednesday, a day after the semiconductor testing equipment maker said its Chief Financial Officer resigned, just six months after his appointment.

Credence, whose biggest customer is Advanced Micro Devices AMD.N, said CFO Joy Leo has agreed to stay through the filing of its annual report for fiscal year ended Nov 3.

The company did not provide a reason for the departure.

“The resignation of a CFO right after quarter and fiscal year-end at the very least does not install confidence in near-term fundamentals,” Timothy Arcuri, an analyst with Citigroup, said in a note to clients.

Arcuri, who downgraded the stock to “sell” from hold” and cut his price target to $2 from $3.50, noted that orders from Advanced Micro Devices appear to be getting worse, not better.

Advanced Micro was looking to diversify its purchases beyond Credence, putting about $20 million to $40 million revenue at risk for 2008, Arcuri added.

Arcuri also cut his 2008 earnings per share estimate for the company to 20 cents from 14 cents.

Advanced Micro accounted for about 32 percent of net sales for the nine-months ended Aug. 4, Credence said in its most recent quarterly filing.

Shares of the company were down 44 cents to $2.60 in morning trade on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Sanjay Vijayakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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