Lam Research Corporation
 (LRCX)

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  • Thu, Jan. 28, 3:44 PM
    • Lam Research (LRCX +2.7%) is posting healthy gains after beating FQ2 estimates (moreso on EPS than revenue). FQ3 guidance is for revenue of $1.3B (+/- $75M) and EPS of $1.07 (+/- $0.10), below a consensus of $1.39B and $1.31. However, though revenue is expected to drop Q/Q, shipments are expected to rise to $1.43B (+/- $75M) from FQ2's $1.29B.
    • Also: On the earnings call (transcript), CFO Doug Bettinger provided upbeat FQ4 commentary. "We expect shipments and revenue in the June quarter will be stronger than in the March quarter. With the anticipated strength in shipments, we expect to grow our deferred revenue balances in the first half of 2016. As we sit here today, I expect the second half of the year will have a stronger top line than the first half due to investments in leading-edge foundry and logic." That fits with ASML's upbeat calendar Q2 commentary.
    • Lam's FQ2 results, earnings release
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 3:44 PM
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 4:09 PM
    • Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): FQ2 EPS of $1.57 beats by $0.14.
    • Revenue of $1.42B (+15.4% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
    • Shares -2.5%.
    • Press Release
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 4:09 PM
  • Tue, Jan. 26, 5:35 PM
  • Fri, Jan. 15, 2:26 PM
    • Up strongly yesterday as markets rallied and TSMC set a 2016 capex budget of $9B-$10B (up from 2015 capex of $8.12B), a slew of chip equipment makers are seeing big losses amid a 3.3% Nasdaq drop after Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) used its Q4 report to disclose its 2016 capex budget has been cut by $500M to $9.5B (+/- $500M). That's still up by $2.2B at the midpoint from 2015's $7.3B, but lower than the $10.1B-$11B spent annually from 2011-2014.
    • On Intel's earnings call (transcript), CEO Brian Krzanich indicated the budget cut is related to logic (i.e. CPU) capex, and insisted no specific major factor was responsible. "As we went from the investor meeting into the actual firm forecast for 2016, the team has just sharpened down all the numbers and went through it in more detail."
    • Major decliners: Applied Materials (AMAT -4.3%), Lam Research (LRCX -6.5%), KLA-Tencor (KLAC -3.8%), ASML (ASML -6.3%), MKS Instruments (MKSI -3.9%), Ultratech (UTEK -4.9%), Teradyne (TER -3.1%), Advantest (ATE -4.6%), and Ultra Clean (UCTT -5.2%).
    • Stifel's Patrick Ho argues the selloff is a buying opportunity. "[W]e have already seen positive preannouncements with two of our names (Ultra Clean, Axcelis) and we expect more upside surprise than those on the downside ... We believe 3D NAND momentum continues to build while there has been some initial buying for 10nm logic (Intel) and foundry (TSMC). We maintain our industry thesis that 3D NAND spending will be the largest incremental driver for spending in 2016, with upside potential from the foundries in 2H16 related to 10nm investments." He likes Applied, Lam, Teradyne, and MKS.
    • Credit Suisse's Farhan Ahmad notes Applied, ASML, and Lam have relatively low Intel exposure, and that a Korea Times report indicates DRAM/NAND flash maker SK Hynix's capex might increase in 2016. On the other hand, he's worried current expectations for EUV system shipments (important for ASML) are too optimistic.
    • Samsung (OTC:SSNLF), another top-3 chip equipment buyer, reports after the Jan. 21 close. Citi's Atif Malik sees Samsung cutting capex due to lower DRAM-related spending. "We think Samsung moderating memory spend, particularly DRAM, would improve memory supply-demand balance and sustainability of memory equipment spend in C16."
    | Fri, Jan. 15, 2:26 PM
  • Thu, Jan. 14, 1:48 PM
    • In its Q4 report, TSMC (a top-3 chip equipment buyer, along with Intel and Samsung) set a 2016 capex budget of $9B-$10B, a healthy increase over reported 2015 capex of $8.12B. The spending will help finance TSMC's 16nm manufacturing process ramp and the start of production (towards the end of 2016) for its 10nm process.
    • A slew of chip equipment makers are outperforming amid a 1.8% Nasdaq gain. The list includes Applied Materials (AMAT +4.3%), ASML (ASML +3%), Teradyne (TER +2.4%), Axcelis (ACLS +6.6%), Xcerra (XCRA +5.5%), Ultratech (UTEK +4%), Advantest (ATE +2.2%), and merger partners Lam Research (LRCX +4.1%) and KLA-Tencor (KLAC +2.9%).
    • Rudolph Technologies (RTEC +11.5%) is benefiting from an upgrade to Buy from Sifel's Patrick Ho. He cites strong advanced chip packaging exposure, a new CEO, an improved ability to land repeat orders, and a belief Rudolph is an attractive M&A target.
    • 2016 industry expectations have been low - Gartner recently forecast wafer fab equipment spend would drop 2.5% this year to $31.1B due to weak DRAM capex, after staying roughly flat in 2015 amid Intel/TSMC capex budget cuts. 8.1% and 9.1% growth is respectively forecast for 2017 and 2018.
    • Intel reports after the bell. In November, the CPU giant set a 2016 capex budget of $10B (+/- $500M), up from 2015's depressed $7.3B (+/- $500M).
    • Update (4:35PM ET): Intel has used its Q4 report to cut its 2016 capex budget by $500M to $9.5B (+/- $500M). Some chip equipment markers are down fractionally after hours.
    | Thu, Jan. 14, 1:48 PM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 17, 2015, 10:37 AM
    • David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital lowered its Micron (MU +1.2%) stake by 67% in Q3 to 12.4M shares, per Greenlight's Q3 13F.
    • Einhorn, whose fund was down 16% YTD through October due to losses taken in SunEdison, Micron, and Consol Energy, had upped his Micron stake to 37.5M shares in Q2, and defended the DRAM/NAND giant his Q2 letter following a major selloff. Micron is currently down 57% YTD.
    • Einhorn also liquidated a 1.6M-share position in chip equipment maker Lam Research (LRCX), which in early Q4 announced it's acquiring KLA-Tencor.
    • His position in Lam rival Applied Materials (AMAT +0.1%) was lowered to 5M shares from 8.2M. Applied jumped last week after providing better-than-feared FQ4 results, FQ1 guidance, and order data, and forecasting on its earnings call it expects the wafer fab equipment market to be flat or up, better than expectations for a moderate decline.
    • A 600K-share position was taken in Garmin (GRMN -0.2%). The navigation hardware maker was hammered in October following a Q3 warning, but has since largely recovered its losses.
    | Nov. 17, 2015, 10:37 AM | 31 Comments
  • Nov. 6, 2015, 4:12 PM
    • Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) declares $0.30/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.56%
    • Payable Jan. 6; for shareholders of record Dec. 9; ex-div Dec. 7.
    | Nov. 6, 2015, 4:12 PM
  • Oct. 21, 2015, 11:33 AM
    • Up yesterday in response to Intel's flash manufacturing plans, chip equipment makers are higher today after Lam Research (LRCX +5.6%) announced it's buying KLA-Tencor (KLAC +22.5%) for $10.6B, with the goal of creating an industry giant on par with Applied Materials (AMAT +1%).
    • In addition to Lam, KLA, and Applied, gainers include ASML (ASML +2.3%), Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC +2.9%), Teradyne (TER +4.6%), Mattson (MTSN +2.6%), and Xcerra (XCRA +2.3%). Ahead of the deal announcement, Tokyo Electron (OTCPK:TOELF) rose 4% in Tokyo, aided by the Intel news and a rally in Japanese equities.
    • Lam/KLA assert the deal combines "Lam's best-in-class capabilities in deposition, etch, and clean [equipment] with KLA-Tencor's leadership in inspection and metrology." Gartner estimates Lam and KLA respectively had 9.4% and 6.4% of the 2013 chip equipment market. Applied (competes with both KLA and Lam) had 16.2%, ASML (dominant in lithography) 15.7%, and Tokyo 9.1%.
    • Lam is paying the equivalent of $32/share in cash and 0.5 shares (current value of $37) for each KLA share. It plans to finance the deal with $1.9B in cash on hand from both companies, and $3.9B in debt. KLA shareholders can elect to be paid solely in cash, solely in stock, or through a mixture of cash and stock.
    • The deal is expected to close in mid-2016. Lam CEO Martin Anstice will run the combined firm.
    | Oct. 21, 2015, 11:33 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 21, 2015, 7:45 AM
    • KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC+17.9% premarket after agreeing to be acquired by Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) in a cash and stock deal valued at ~$10.6B.
    • The $67.02/share offer marks a 24% premium to yesterday's closing price for KLAC.
    • The combined company, to be called Lam Research, will have a market cap of ~$19B and says it will serve 42% of the wafer fabrication equipment market.
    • The two companies say they expect to realize $250M/year in cost savings within 18-24 months of the deal's close and generate ~$600M in incremental annual revenue by 2020.
    • LRCX -2.2% premarket.
    | Oct. 21, 2015, 7:45 AM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 21, 2015, 5:52 AM
    • Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): FQ1 EPS of $1.82 beats by $0.11.
    • Revenue of $1.6B (+39.1% Y/Y) in-line.
    • Shares +1.74% PM.
    | Oct. 21, 2015, 5:52 AM
  • Oct. 20, 2015, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 20, 2015, 3:58 PM
    • Applied Materials (AMAT +2.3%) and Lam Research (LRCX +3.6%) have rallied after Intel announced plans to make up to $5.5B worth of flash memory manufacturing investments ($3.5B committed) in the coming years at its Dailan, China fab. 3D NAND manufacturing is expected to start in Dailan in 2H16.
    • KLA-Tencor (KLAC +1.3%) and Axcelis (ACLS +1.8%), which also have strong memory exposure, are up moderately. The Nasdaq is down 0.5%.
    • The group caught a bid last week after Intel cut its capex budget by $400M to $7.3B (+/- $500M), but added capex is expected to rise in 2016. Gartner has forecast moderate 2015 and 2016 declines in industry wafer fab equipment spend, followed by 8%+ growth in 2017 and 2018.
    | Oct. 20, 2015, 3:58 PM
  • Oct. 14, 2015, 3:10 PM
    • Though still well below its May/June highs, the Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +2.9%) has reached its highest levels since August following calendar Q3 results from Intel, Linear Technology, and ASML, and reports SanDisk and Fairchild are in buyout talks with potential suitors (respectively Micron/Western Digital and ON Semi/Infineon). The Nasdaq is down slightly.
    • Intel (up 1.5%) beat Q3 estimates and provided in-line Q4 guidance. ASP strength and signs of stabilizing PC demand are overshadowing a full-year guidance cut for Intel's server CPU division, Linear (up 4.6%) posted mixed FQ1 results and issued above-consensus FQ2 guidance.
    • Lithography equipment giant ASML (ASML -0.4%) beat Q3 EPS estimates and posted nearly in-line sales, but also guided for Q4 revenue of €1.4B ($1.61B), below a $1.77B consensus. Soft demand from foundry clients is blamed. Credit Suisse and Cowen argue ASML is hurt by a lack of exposure to the 3D NAND flash ramp.
    • Aside from Linear and companies associated with the SanDisk/Fairchild reports, chipmakers seeing big gains include NXP (NXPI +4.6%), Freescale (FSL +3.6%), Himax (HIMX +4.2%), Qorvo (QRVO +4.9%), Cypress (CY +6.9%), AppliedMicro (AMCC +4.9%), and Linear/Fairchild peers Semtech (SMTC +4.7%), MangaChip (MX +4.6%), Diodes (DIOD +4%), and Power Integrations (POWI +4.2%). Chip packaging/testing firms ChipMOS (IMOS +3.8%) and Amkor (AMKR +5.9%) are also rallying.
    • With much already priced in, chip equipment makers are also doing well, in spite of ASML's guidance, a fresh $400M cut to Intel's 2015 capex budget (to $7.3B), and a Gartner forecast for global wafer fab equipment spend to drop 0.5% in 2015 and 2.5% in 2016 before returning to growth.
    • Chip equipment gainers include Lam Research (LRCX +3.6%), KLA-Tencor (KLAC +1.6%), Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC +3.3%), and Teradyne (TER +1.9%). Possibly helping: Intel stated on its earnings call its capex will rise in 2016 from 2015's depressed levels.
    • Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
    | Oct. 14, 2015, 3:10 PM | 4 Comments
  • Oct. 5, 2015, 7:02 PM
    • Believing chip industry capex will drop 13% in 2016 to $46B due to weak memory spend, RBC's Mahesh Sanganeria downgraded Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) to Underperform today, while respectively cutting his targets to $12 and $52.
    • Sanganeria expects DRAM capex to drop 38% next year, and NAND flash capex 17%. Foundry capex is expected to be "flattish," and spending by IDMs (pressured this year by Intel's capex budget cuts) up 3%. "DRAM spending is positioned to decline in 2016 after two years of high level spending on new capacity and 20nm conversion. 3D NAND in CY16 appears to be limited after Samsung filled up Xi’an fab with 90k capacity as Micron and Toshiba need to expand current fabs for 3D conversion ... IDM/foundry spending will likely remain muted until 10nm ramp."
    • He thinks Applied's 2016 outlook is too optimistic. "During JulQ earnings call, management expected DRAM spending to be down 10% and NAND to remain at a high level driven by continued 3D NAND investment in CY16. Additionally, the company expects big 10nm foundry spending."
    • Regarding Lam, he observes DRAM/NAND now account for ~60% of total shipments. and thinks calendar Q4 shipments could miss estimates. DRAM and NAND prices have come under pressure in 2015, fueling speculation memory makers (Samsung in particular) could pare their investments.
    • In spite of the downgrade, AMAT rose 1.1% in regular trading, aided by a 1.6% Nasdaq gain. Lam fell 0.4%. Both companies have had some bad news priced in over the last several months.
    | Oct. 5, 2015, 7:02 PM | 3 Comments
  • Sep. 14, 2015, 1:55 PM
    • With the Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +0.4%) down ~20% from its June highs - an inventory correction and concerns about PC/smartphone sales have contributed - Evercore's C.J. Muse thinks "now is the time" to buy into the group. He sees 20%-25% potential upside over the next 3+ months, and 5%-10% potential downside.
    • NXP (NASDAQ:NXPI), Micron (NASDAQ:MU), Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI), and Maxim (NASDAQ:MXIM) are Muse's top picks among chipmakers. Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT), Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) , and ASML are his top picks among chip equipment firms. Along with the call, Muse has upgraded Analog Devices (ADI +1.9%) to Buy.
    • Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
    • Last week: Chip stocks jump as markets rally, Microchip improves guidance, Taiwan reports
    | Sep. 14, 2015, 1:55 PM | 4 Comments
  • Aug. 27, 2015, 4:12 PM
    • Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) declares $0.30/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.64%
    • Payable Sept. 30; for shareholders of record Sept. 9; ex-div Sept. 4.
    | Aug. 27, 2015, 4:12 PM
Company Description
Lam Research Corp is a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry.