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ASML Q4 Profit Climb; Sees Growth In FY20; Plans EUR 6 Bln Share Buyback

Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding N.V. (ASML) reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income climbed to 1.13 billion euros from last year's 787.5 million euros.

Earnings per share were 2.69 euros, higher than 1.86 euros a year ago.

Total net sales for the quarter were 4.04 billion euros, higher than 3.14 billion euros a year earlier. Gross margin was 48.1 percent, up from 44.3 percent last year.

In the quarter, total system sales increased to 76 units from 64 units last year. Net bookings grew to 60 units worth 2.4 billion euros from 53 units worth 1.59 billion euros last year.

Looking ahead for the first quarter, ASML expects net sales between 3.1 billion euros and 3.3 billion euros and a gross margin between 46 percent and 47 percent.

ASML President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said, "We expect that 2020 will be another growth year, both in sales and in profitability, driven by EUV demand and our Installed Base business."

Further, ASML announced a three-year share buyback program up to 6 billion euros, to be executed within the 2020-2022 time frame.

The company also proposed a dividend over 2019 of 2.40 euros per share, a growth of 14 percent from last year. This leads to a final dividend payment over 2019 of 1.35 euros.

Separately, ASML announced certain changes to the Supervisory Board effective from the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders scheduled to be held on April 22.

W.H. (Wolfgang) Ziebart will retire at the end of his current term. D.W.A. (Warren) East and D.M. (Mark) Durcan will be nominated for appointment as member of the Supervisory Board effective from the 2020 AGM.

A.P. (Annet) Aris will also be nominated for reappointment effective from the 2020 AGM.

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