Earnings Preview: KLA-Tencor

Jul.31.08 | About: KLA-Tencor Corporation (KLAC)

KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) is expected to report Q4 earnings after market close Thursday July 31, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET.


The consensus estimate is 57c for EPS and $572.8M for revenue, according to First Call.

Analyst Views

Most analysts believe KLA will meet the consensus estimates. In terms of guidance, at the company's last two public presentations, it maintained that the environment remains difficult. Specifically a the company's analyst meeting in conjunction with Semicon West on July 15, management noted that bookings came in at the low end of its stated guidance down -5% to plus/minus 10% sequentially, driven by weakness in the memory market. The CEO says bookings are at "bottom" of forecast range.

Stifel did not believe the bookings guidance was a major surprise, and at first glance, it suspects this trend will carry over into the September quarter as well, which is exacerbated by the traditional trends of being KLA's softest bookings quarter.

Looking forward: Caris does not believe management can provide any information on the call that would be a positive catalyst.

Key issues for the earnings call: More color on the company's competitive position, particularly as it faces increased pressures from the likes of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) in its core wafer and reticle inspection businesses.