SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug 19 -- Applied Materials Inc. reported a fivefold surge in its third-quarter earnings, which it attributed to the ongoing recovery of the semiconductor industry. For the quarter ended Aug. 1, 1999, the company reported net income of $244.4 million, or 61 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $47.5 million, or 13 cents per share in the same quarter of 1998. Sales rose 62 percent to $1.43 billion from $884.4 million a year ago.According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, worldwide semiconductor sales climbed to $11.22 billion in June 1999, an increase of 13.6 percent from the prior year. Japan and other Asian markets saw sales increase 20 percent over last year's levels, and US sales rose 11.8 percent. The SIA also noted that sales of semiconductor-product lines, such as flash memory and digital signal processing, showed strong increases. Applied Materials said new orders were driven by capacity, by technology requirements for 0.18 µm production and pilot line applications, and by research and development for upgraded products with design features below 0.18 µm.