Orbotech plunges on lower sales outlook
Shares of the maker of optical inspection equipment were down 17% by mid-afternoon New York time Thursday in Nasdaq trading.
Shares of Orbotech, the maker of optical inspection equipment, were down 17% by mid-afternoon New York time Thursday in Nasdaq trading after the company said its sales would be lower this year than previous forecasts and responded to charges by South Korean prosecutors that employees engaged in industrial espionage.
The company lowered its forecast for 2012 revenue to between $430 million and $450 million, down from a previous estimate of $500 million, saying its customers - manufacturers of flat panel displays - were lowering their capital investment in new equipment.
At 12:30 P.M. New York time, Orbotech was trading at $7.87, down 16.5%. It had dropped to as much as $6.43 earlier in the session. While, the company kept to its previous estimate for first-half sales of $200 million, it said sales would fall in the second half of the year and continue falling into the first half of 2013.
Orbotech confirmed that it has received official notice from Korean prosecutors against its local subsidiary as well as six Korean employees on charges they acquired proprietary information from customers of the company and misused it. It called the charges "groundless" and denied any criminal intent.