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What: Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates
So what: It's earnings season, and Varian put its very best foot forward in last night's fourth-quarter report. Higher tool sales and unexpectedly fat gross margins conspired to push Varian past management guidance with ease.
Now what: Though unexpected this time, Varian's management expects the higher sales and broader margins to stick into the next quarter. That's a generally positive sign of how the giants of the chip industry view the near and midterm future: Intel
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