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No. of Recommendations: 1
NVLS came to my attention when I was looking for 
competitors for a Rule Maker analysis of AMAT, KLAC, 
and TER.

I don't know enough about the semiconductor industry 
to understand how NVLS compares and contrasts with 
these other companies - can you help shed some light?

FWIW, attached is my RM analysis which you may find 
helpful:


                      The Motley Fool's Rule Maker Ranker
                                        Version 2.x -- Last Updated May 20, 2000 by sditto

                      Hey Fool, start here! (drop your mouse on this to read)

                      Continue Here for Instructions

Financial Analysis    Company Being Evaluated                           Competitor #1   Competitor #2  Competitor #3

Company               Applied Materials                                  KLA-Tencor       Teradyne       Novellus
Symbol                       AMAT                                           KLAC             TER           NVLS
Evaluation Period          Current         Year-ago    Year-over-Year      Current         Current        Current
                          01/31/2000      01/31/1999      Growth         03/31/2000      04/02/2000     04/01/2000
Income Statement . . .
  Sales                           1,667            742    124.7%                   413            648            274
  Cost of Goods Sold                832            421     97.6%                   181            349            119
  Net Income                        328             53    518.9%                    73            109             58
  Shares Outstanding                410            388     5.7%                    195            181            129

Balance Sheet . . .
  Cash & Equivalents              3,004          2,769     8.5%                    479            243            450
  Current Assets                  5,463          5,060     8.0%                  1,287          1,066            867
  Short-term Debt                    37             42    -11.9%                    14             13             20
  Current Liabilities             1,588          1,669     -4.9%                   492            436            166
  Long-term Debt                    585            584     0.2%                      0              9              0

Cash Flow Statement . . .
  Cash Flow                         184            152     21.1%                    38             50             44
  Capital Expenditures               22             39    -43.6%                    24             31              9
                                                                                                                     Competitors
Margins & Ratios . . .                                                                1              1              1
  Gross Margins                    50.1%          43.3%     6.8                   56.2%          46.1%          56.6%      53.0%
  Net Margins                      19.7%           7.1%    12.5                   17.7%          16.8%          21.2%      18.6%
  Cash-to-Debt                      4.83           4.42    9.2%                   34.21          11.05          22.50      20.93
  Net Cash                       2,382.0        2,143.0    11.2%                  465.0          221.0          430.0      372.0
  Fool Flow Ratio                                          12.6%                                                            2.16
  Cash King Margin                  9.7%          15.2%    -5.5                    3.4%           2.9%          12.8%       6.4%


Ranking Rule Makers     Continue Here


1) Brand                 Points (0-1)                                 3) Financial Dire Points (0-3)
Familiarity                            1                              Sales Growth                   3
Openness                               1                              Gross Margins                  3
Optimism                               1                              Net Margins                    3
Legitimacy                             1                              Shares Outstandin              1
Inevitability                          1                              Cash-to-Debt                   2
Solitariness                           1                              Fool Flow Ratio                0
Humor                                  1                              Cash King Margins              0
  Subtotal                             7                              Expansion Potenti              2
                                                                        Subtotal                    14

2) Financial Location    Points (0-2)                                 4) Monopoly Statu Points (0-4)
Mass Market Habit                      1                              Gross Margins                  0
Gross Margins                          1                              Net Margins                    2
Net Margins                            2                              Net Cash                       4
Cash-to-Debt                           2                              Fool Flow Ratio                4
Fool Flow Ratio                        0                              Cash King Margins              2
Cash King Margin                       0                              Convenience                    2
Your Interest                          2                                Subtotal                    14
  Subtotal                             8
                                                                      5) Your  Enjoymen              1

                      Scoring Criteria      Actual       Possible     Completed By:
                      Financial               29            51        sditto
                      Marketplace             15            19        05/25/2000
                      Total Score             44            70
                                                       Third Tier

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