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Friday, Jan 242:08 PM
Friday, Jan 242:08 PM| Comment!
- Chip equipment stocks aren't getting spared from a general market selloff after Samsung (SSNLF - the world's #2 chipmaker) guided for its 2014 chip capex to be flat Y/Y. AMAT -1.6%. LRCX -3.7%. ASML -0.7%. UTEK -2.2%. RTEC -3.2%. MTSN -5.1%.
- Industry analyst Robert Marie observes this is the first time since 2009 that Samsung hasn't upped its chip capex budget. With Intel and TSMC (the industry's two other big clients) also guiding for capex to be flat (if not down) this year, Marie is cautious about 2014 growth, even though others have forecast sales will rebound sharply this year following a rough 2013.
- KLA-Tencor (KLAC -2.2%) is joining the selloff even though the company posted an FQ2 EPS beat yesterday afternoon, and provided healthy FQ3 guidance - revenue of $790M-$850M and EPS of $1-$1.20 vs. a consensus of $814.5M and $1.11 - on its CC (transcript). KLA also forecast FQ3 bookings will be in a range of $700M-$800M (implies 10% Q/Q growth at the midpoint), and struck an upbeat tone about 2014 investments in 20nm and 3D NAND flash capacity.
- KLA still expects 10%+ industry growth this year, but admits its outlook is "slightly weaker" than it was three months ago. The company also believes industry adoption of EUV lithography (important for ASML) has generally been pushed out to the 7nm process node from the 10nm node.
Thursday, Jan 210:40 AM
Thursday, Jan 210:40 AM| 1 Comment
- The Korean won's strong performance over the last six months is leading a growing number of analysts to worry Samsung's (SSNLF, SSNGY) Q4 results will miss estimates.
- The company's chip business is especially vulnerable to forex swings, since it relies on dollars for order settlement. BNP Paribas estimates every 1% change in the won/dollar exchange rate hurts the op. profit of Samsung's chip division by 4%.
- Citing exchange rates and (to a lesser extent) margin pressure for Samsung's OLED display business, IBK Investment is now expecting the electronics/display/chip giant to post a Q4 op. profit of KWT9.5T ($9.04B), below a KWT10.3T Thomson Reuters consensus.
- Korean automakers Hyundai (HYMLF -5.1%) and Kia (KIMTF -6.1%) also fell hard in Seoul overnight. South Korea's benchmark KOSPI index fell 2.2%.
- Korean ETFs: EWY, FKO, KORU, KORZ, DXKW
Wednesday, Dec 182013, 10:33 AM
Wednesday, Dec 182013, 10:33 AM| 30 Comments
- Bloomberg reports SK Hynix (HXSCL), still recovering from a September fire at a Chinese DRAM fab, plans to build a new South Korean DRAM fab to address surging mobile DRAM demand.
- Construction will start next year, and production could begin in 2015. Hynix reportedly plans to spend KWT4T ($3.8B) on the fab, and to upgrade existing facilities.
- Micron (MU -6.8%) investors aren't taking the news well. Shares have flown higher this year thanks to rising memory prices and expectations a newly-consolidated DRAM industry will see a favorable supply/demand balance for years to come. Micron significantly increased its exposure to mobile DRAM, which tends to carry higher margins and see less price volatility than PC DRAM, through the Elpida deal.
- A new Hyniix DRAM fab would also be a negative for Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY). DRAMeXchange estimates Samsung had a 37.1% Q3 DRAM share. Hynix is assigned a 28.5% share, and Micron a 26.2% share.
Wednesday, Dec 112013, 10:58 AM
Wednesday, Dec 112013, 10:58 AM| 7 Comments
- MKM reports the Wuxi, China SK Hynix (HXSCL) DRAM plant that was badly damaged in a September fire will be operational by mid-January, well ahead of the mid-2014 timeframe forecast by others.
- Micron (MU -2.1%) is slipping, as is SanDisk (SNDK -1.5%), which benefits when NAND flash capacity gets reallocated to deal with DRAM shortages.
- Micron and SanDisk rallied on Monday amid a flurry of positive DRAM sales, pricing, and supply-related news.
- Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY), the world's largest DRAM manufacturer (37.1% Q3 share per DRAMeXchange), fell 1.4% overnight in Seoul. Hynix rose 0.8%.
Monday, Dec 92013, 12:22 PM
Monday, Dec 92013, 12:22 PM| Comment!
- Digitimes reports DRAM spot prices continue to jump, with recent quotes "soaring more than 5% on a single day." Tight supplies (caused in part by the SK Hynix fire), PC OEM inventory replenishment, and order pull-in from Chinese tablet vendors are said to be contributing factors.
- Naturally, spot price strength is expected to bolster contract pricing, whose growth has been tempered somewhat by attempts from SK Hynix and peers to adjust capacity in the wake of the fire.
- The report backs up recent comments Morgan Stanley's Joseph Moore, who has reported seeing a pickup in orders from the PC supply chain.
- Also: Both Taiwanese DRAM vendor Nanya and Micron/Nanya's Inotera JV have reported strong November sales. Nanya's sales rose 34% Y/Y to NT$3.85B ($130M), and Inotera's sales rose 117% to NT$6.46B ($218M).
- Aided by a favorable supply/demand balance and healthy mobile DRAM growth, the DRAM industry is expected to perform well again in 2014, though growth is expected to slow from 2013's levels. DRAMeXchange forecasts sales will rise 14% to $40B, after growing 32% in 2013.
- Micron (MU +3.9%) is making new 52-week highs, and SanDisk (SNDK +1.6%) is also up. Though not a DRAM vendor itself, SanDisk benefits from DRAM strength to the extent NAND capacity gets reallocated for DRAM production. Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY) rose 1.8% overnight in Seoul, and SK Hynix (HXSCL) rose 2.4%.
Thursday, Sep 52013, 2:50 PM
Thursday, Sep 52013, 2:50 PM| 2 Comments
- Countering comments made by SK Hynix (HXSCL.OB) yesterday, Wedge Partners says the fire that broke out at Hynix's Chinese memory fab will cause at least a 2-month production delay, and that Hynix has suspended price negotiations with clients.
- The remarks come as DRAM spot prices jump 20% on account of the fire, and reports emerge several top memory manufacturers have joined Hynix in putting shipments on hold.
- There could be major downstream ramifications: TrendForce thinks 11M notebook shipments and 10M smartphone shipments will be affected within a month if "main production procedures are halted." The firm estimates it will take 6 months for all of the damage to be fixed.
- Prior to the fire, DRAM and NAND prices had been slumping this summer after rallying earlier this year.
- Micron (MU +3%) and SanDisk (SNDK +1.9%) are adding to yesterday's gains. DRAM/NAND giant Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) rose 1.9% overnight in Seoul, while Hynix fell 1.8%.