Applied Materials (AMAT -1%) now expects the chip equipment industry to contract by 5%-15% in...

|By:, SA News Editor

Applied Materials (AMAT -1%) now expects the chip equipment industry to contract by 5%-15% in 2013, a forecast easily worse than a recent Gartner estimate for a 0.8% increase. Applied, which offered soft FQ1 guidance yesterday to go with its FQ4 beat, mentioned on its earnings call it expects chip wafer starts and utilization rates to drop again in FQ1. Its outlook for solar equipment demand is predictably bleak, though the company is a little more optimistic about a rebound in LCD equipment orders.