TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) - Microchip tester maker Advantest Corp (6857.T) is likely to post a 17 percent fall in operating profit in the current business year as weak memory chip prices are forcing semiconductor makers to curb capital spending, the Nikkei business daily said.
Advantest, the world's largest supplier of tools used to test microchips, is expected to post an operating profit of about 20 billion yen ($193 million) for the year ending March 2009, the Nikkei said on Saturday.
That is down from the company's own forecast of a 24 billion yen profit for the just-ended business year, but exceeds a consensus forecast for the current business year of 19 billion yen in a poll of 17 analysts by Reuters Estimates.
Advantest, which competes with U.S.-based Teradyne Inc (TER.N), is set to announce its earnings results for the 2007/08 business year as well as annual forecasts for the current business year on April 25. ($1=103.65 Yen) (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Ben Tan)