Kulicke & Soffa jumps on EPS beat, shrugs off light guidance

Though the company has provided soft FQ2 guidance - revenue of $110M-$120M vs. a $121.4M consensus - Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC +10.3%) has shot higher post-earnings, as investors applaud an FQ1 EPS beat and the margin improvement that drove it.

Kulicke posted an FQ1 gross margin of 48.5%, up 200 bps Q/Q and 330 bps Y/Y. On its CC (transcript), the chip equipment maker attributed this improvement to a product mix shift - expandable tools were a larger portion of sale - and its adoption of a more flexible manufacturing model.

Kulicke also says (citing industry forecasts for 2014/2015 chip equipment sales) it's optimistic about returning to growth in the coming quarters. Though Kulicke's revenue fell 30.6% Y/Y in FQ1, the consensus is for sales to grow 15.8% in FY14 (ends Sep. '14).

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