Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding NV (ASML: Quote) reported Wednesday second quarter profits that were in line with its guidance and ahead of estimates by most analysts. However, revenues and profits were below the year-ago levels. Citing expectations for a sustained increase in NAND and DRAM chip sales, the company said it expects second half revenue to be steady with first half levels.
ASML forecasts second half sales of 2.2 billion euros to 2.4 billion euros, with net sales of about 1.2 billion euros expected for the third quarter. The company sees gross margin of 43 percent.
Eric Meurice, CEO, said, ''We executed H1 2012 as planned and expect sales to remain steady in the second half...The exact level of sales achieved in the second half will depend on the strength of NAND pick up, itself fueled by new ultrabook PCs and new smartphone ramps.''
The positive tone orchestrated by ASML regarding the chip market comes in contrast to recent announcements by U.S. chipmakers AMD (AMD) and Intel (INTC: Quote). Intel, which incidentally announced a hefty investment in ASML earlier this month, lowered its outlook for the second half of the year on the premise that retail and emerging market demand for its PCs will wane. AMD had also warned of an 11 percent sequential decline in its second quarter revenues.
Under a customer co-investment program announced on July 9, ASML seeks investments up to 1.38 billion euros from customers over the next 5 years to give a shot in the arm for technology development. The company intends to cede as much 25 percent stake to participating customers.
As a first step in this direction, ASML announced plans for a $4.1 billion investment from Intel to speed up deployment of key chip technologies critical to long-term growth amid some sluggishness clouding the industry.
In the statement released today, ASML said its second quarter net income on IFRS basis declined to 341.5 million euros from 421.8 million euros. Total net sales fell to 1.23 billion euros from 1.53 billion euros, as units sold fell to 44 from 63. Gross margin declined to 43.2 percent from 45.1 percent. Nevertheless, the top line results and gross margin were in line with the company's guidance.
The company said net bookings totaled 949 million euros, representing 43 systems, while it sold 44 systems valued at 985 million euros during the second quarter. Order backlogs, which reflect future revenue potential, were at 1.503 million euros at the end of the quarter, representing 55 systems.
The stock is currently falling 0.5 percent in Amsterdam at 41.21 euros.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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