Credence Systems Corp. on Monday reported its final results for the third quarter, detailing a $461.4 million loss.

Credence, an automatic test equipment (ATE) supplier, reported preliminary financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Net sales for the third quarter were $109.6 million, down 12 percent from the immediately preceding quarter net sales of $124.8 million and down 2 percent from the third quarter of fiscal year 2005 net sales of $111.9 million.

Preliminary net loss, before an expected write-down of goodwill and intangible assets, for the quarter was $37.5 million, or minus $0.37 per share.

The net loss, including the write-down of goodwill, for the quarter was $461.4 million, or minus $4.61 per share, versus a net loss of $14.2 million, or minus $0.14 per share in the immediately preceding quarter. Net loss from a year-ago third quarter was $41.7 million or $0.43 net loss per share.

The company has completed an analysis of the impact of the goodwill adjustment that was required. In addition to the $423.9 million write-off of goodwill, the net loss for this quarter included charges of $32.9 million.

It consisted of an inventory write-down of approximately $24.2 million, restructuring charges of $1.8 million, an impairment of an equity investment of $0.9 million, stock compensation expense of $1.7 million and intangibles amortization of $4.3 million.

Net sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 are expected to be consistent with third quarter levels at approximately $105-to-$110 million, with a loss per share on a GAAP basis in the range of $0.13-to-$0.15. This guidance reflects an estimated charge in the range of approximately $8.0 million to $10.0 million associated with headcount reductions.