Wed, Apr. 8, 12:43 PM
- Believing LED equipment rival Veeco (VECO -2.3%) is better-positioned in China, Berenberg's Tammy Qiu has downgraded Aixtron (AIXG -2.5%) to Hold, and cut her target by €5 to €8 ($8.64).
- Qiu thinks Veeco's solutions are more efficient and deliver greater automation, and that Aixtron provided leading LED manufacturer San'an favorable pricing to score a big order last year.
- The downgrade comes as Aixtron announces the acquisition of PlasmaSi, a maker of thin-film encapsulation equipment for OLED production, for up to $16M in cash. OLED investments have been growing rapidly, thanks to both mobile demand and the nascent OLED TV and lighting markets.
- In spite of Qiu's positive remarks, Veeco has followed Aixtron lower on an up day for tech. Shares are about $3 above a 52-week low of $27.80.
Thu, Apr. 2, 3:20 PM
- The the Nasdaq is up only fractionally ahead of the long weekend, the ranks of major tech gainers have easily outnumbered the ranks of major decliners today.
- Today's notable gainers include Chinese online video site Youku (YOKU +4.5%), IP licensing firm VirnetX (VHC +6.7%), mobile payment-processing/telemetry services firm USA Technologies (USAT +5.8%), VoIP service provider magicJack (CALL +5%), LED/chip equipment firm Aixtron (AIXG +4.9%), Chinese jobs site 51job (JOBS +4.9%), grocery coupon site Coupons.com (COUP +4.5%), telecom services/analytics firm Neustar (NSR +3.2%), and LED/chip equipment vendors Veeco (VECO +2.7%) and Aixtron (AIXG +4.9%).
- Youku is bouncing after having sold off to new 52-week lows in the wake of its Q4 numbers and an SEC inquiry disclosure. magicJack is recovering some of the big March losses seen after the company posted mixed Q4 results. Neustar is now up 19% since confirming a major contract loss and announcing a $150M buyback a week ago.
- Previously covered: 500.com, AudioCodes, Renren, Expedia, Hutchison, ReneSola, Cheetah Mobile, Sungy Mobile, Yandex, Digital Ally
- Notable decliners: Motorola Solutions, NeoPhotonics, TrueCar, Carbonite, Elephant Talk
Thu, Mar. 26, 10:50 AM
- The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX -1.8%) is now down 6% over the last two days. Today's losses come after NAND flash giant SanDisk issued a Q1 warning and withdrew its full-year guidance - price pressure, soft enterprise sales, and delayed product qualifications were all blamed.
- Meanwhile, some are partly blaming yesterday's big selloff on cautious remarks from TSMC (has an estimated ~50% global foundry share) at a Credit Suisse conference. CS analyst Randy Abrams reports TSMC (NYSE:TSM) has observed "a slowdown in the past 4-5 weeks due to US$ strength impacting European and emerging market purchasing power," and that inventories "will be a few days above seasonal exiting 1Q15." Pac Crest downgraded TSMC two weeks ago on inventory concerns.
- Following an Asian trip, Susquehanna's Chris Caso has argued there isn't too much to be alarmed about, though he admits forex could be an issue. "There’s mixed signals here and there. We weren’t picking up anything that was tremendously different across the supply chain. PCs were the weakest area. That’s really not a surprise."
- RF chipmakers Skyworks (SWKS -4.6%) and Qorvo (QRVO -2.1%), among 2014's best performers, are again selling off; peer Avago is off only slightly. Also seeing further profit-taking are Ambarella (AMBA -3%), NXP (NXPI -3.6%), Freescale (FSL -2.8%), Cavium (CAVM -3.2%), and STMicroelectronics (STM -4.5%).
- Among equipment makers, Axcelis (ACLS -2.9%), Aixtron (AIXG -3.6%), Veeco (VECO -3%), and Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC -2.5%) are declining. A selloff in European equities could be affecting Aixtron, NXP/Freescale, and STMicro.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- Update: Credit Suisse, Goldman, and Deutsche have each offered thoughts on the chip selloff.
Wed, Mar. 18, 11:16 AM
- JPMorgan reports Samsung is slowing down the pace of its DRAM capacity ramp. The firm reiterates an Overweight rating and $40 target on Micron (MU +0.8%), whose shares have been hit more than once by Samsung spending fears.
- While Micron edges higher, chip equipment maker Lam Research (LRCX -4.3%), which has considerable DRAM exposure, is selling off. Mattson (MTSN -11.8%), Aixtron (AIXG -1.9%), and Axcelis (ACLS -1.1%), other equipment makers that have DRAM exposure, are also lower. Mattson dived around 11AM after initially posting moderate losses.
- Lam, a David Einhorn favorite, offered upbeat commentary about 2015 DRAM capex on its FQ2 CC (transcript), and noted 30% industry bit growth is expected this year.
- Also: 1) Drexel Hamilton has made upbeat comments about DRAM demand after talking with an unnamed Asian memory maker; the firm expects mobile DRAM demand to restore a supply/demand balance later this year. 2) Jefferies (Buy) has cut its Micron target by $5 to $40, predicting Q1 DRAM pricing weakness will continue into Q2 due soft PC demand, before smartphone demand and "corrective actions on the supply side" lead prices to stabilize.
- Yesterday: Micron drops on RBC target cut
Dec. 22, 2014, 3:51 PM
- Taiwanese LED industry sources tell Digitimes the Chinese government "has ordered its subordinate agencies and local governments to stop offering subsidies and tax incentives for China-based LED epitaxial wafer and chip makers because such offering has disrupted market mechanisms and may violate WTO rules."
- Cree (CREE +3%), which has lost mid-power LED chip share to low-cost Chinese manufacturers, could benefit from the ending of subsidies. As might Taiwan's SemiLEDs (LEDS +6.3%) and U.S. LED wafer supplier Rubicon (RBCN -3.5%).
- On the other hand, equipment suppliers Veeco (VECO +2%) and Aixtron (AIXG -1.2%) could see their Chinese orders slump. Aixtron soared in September after landing a major order from Chinese LED chipmaker San'an Optoelectronics. Digitimes notes San'an has received generous subsidies from the Xiamen city government, and has placed major orders with both Aixtron and Veeco.
Oct. 22, 2014, 2:50 PM
- Canaccord and D.A. Davidson have downgraded Cree (CREE -16.7%) to neutral ratings after the company offered a weaker-than-expected FQ2 outlook and reported a 580 bps Q/Q gross margin drop.
- Canaccord's Jonathan Dorsheimer, who wasn't quite enthusiastic about reiterating a Buy following Cree's Oct. 2 FQ1 warning: "In spite of the fact that we may be...marking the bottom for CREE shares, we simply fail to see a potentially positive catalyst ... Our thesis was based around the transition from captive to merchant sales in Cree’s components [business], which at best has been pushed by 6-9 months now."
- He adds Canaccord's research confirms Cree has lost LED component share to Philips' Lumileds unit, and that a shift towards mid-power LED sales in China is also taking a toll.
- Cowen's Jeffrey Osborne (Market Perform) thinks margins will stabilize as Cree cuts factory output, continues seeing healthy lighting and power/RF growth, and gets a lighting margin boost from a mix shift to non-bulb lighting products. He's still cautious on account of Cree's near-term LED component challenges, but expects the company's technology strengths will help its cause long-term.
- Fellow LED industry names Rubicon (RBCN -2.3%), Veeco (VECO -3.7%), and Aixtron (AIXG -2.5%) are also lower.
Oct. 2, 2014, 10:11 AM| Comment!
Sep. 26, 2014, 12:41 PM| Comment!
Sep. 25, 2014, 12:45 PM
Sep. 25, 2014, 10:19 AM
- Chinese LED chip manufacturer San'an Optoelectronics has ordered 50 of Aixtron's (NASDAQ:AIXG) next-gen Showerhead MOCVD systems. Aixtron calls the order "one of the largest" it has ever received.
- Though LED sales to end-users have been steadily growing, LED equipment sales have remained weak thanks to industry overcapacity. Craig-Hallum views Aixtron's order as a sign the industry is now expanding, and recommends buying Aixtron rival Veeco (VECO -0.6%).
Sep. 25, 2014, 9:17 AM
Sep. 11, 2014, 9:14 AM
May. 5, 2014, 4:24 PM
- Though it beat Q1 estimates, Veeco (VECO) expects Q2 revenue of $87M-$97M and EPS of -$0.23 to -$0.14, largely below a consensus of $96.8M and -$0.11.
- Q1 orders totaled $103M, up 21% Q/Q and 47% Y/Y, and above revenue of $90.8M. MOCVD equipment orders rose 59% Q/Q to $83M thanks to rising demand from LED manufacturers in Asia and elsewhere. Data Storage orders fell to $15 from $22M in Q4, and MBE orders fell to $5M from $11M.
- Veeco asserts LED fab utilization rates "have improved to high levels at most key accounts and LED adoption is happening faster than many had expected." But it also cautions MOCVD orders could be "lumpy and unpredictable on a quarterly basis," and that the company lacks 2H visibility. Q2 orders are expected to be at or above Q1 levels.
- Rival Aixtron (AIXG), which moved higher last week following its Q1 report, might follow Veeco lower.
- Q1 results, PR
Apr. 29, 2014, 2:43 PM
- Though Aixtron (AIXG +2.3%) missed Q1 estimates, it reiterated guidance for 2014 revenue to be flat Y/Y. Earnings are expected to improve from 2013 levels, but an EBIT loss is still forecast.
- In addition, the LED equipment maker's orders 2% Q/Q and 26% Y/Y in Q1 to €37.7M. Quarter-ending backlog was €64.2M, -18% Y/Y but +8% Q/Q.
- Gross margin was 25% - down from seasonally strong Q4's 34%, but much better than the year-ago period's -119% (no typo).
- The company notes capacity utilization among LED customers "remains at relatively high levels" amid growing demand, and thinks "sentiment among customers is improving as the growth in the LED market drives the customers' profitability." At the same time, it observes "there was still no noticeable increase in investments in LED manufacturing capacity expansions" in Q1.
- Rival Veeco (VECO +2.5%) and LED wafer vendor Rubicon (RBCN +1.2%) are higher on a good day for tech. Rubicon reports on Thursday, and Veeco on May 5.
- Q1 results, PR
Mar. 28, 2014, 2:40 PM
- Checks suggest Rubicon's (RBCN +2.3%) Chinese sales are up 30% in Q1, writes UBS' Stephen Chin, while upping his PT to $12 from $9.50.
- Chin also estimates Rubicon's ASP for 2" sapphire wafers is up 9% Q/Q, and says UBS' China LED tracker "continues to show that fab utilization rates in China are tracking in low 90s and Chinese LED fabs are likely placing rush MOCVD equipment orders."
- At the same time, he cautions sapphire "is still in 10-15% oversupply," and estimates Rubicon's Malaysian sapphire wafer-polishing factory has a 10%-20% utilization rate due to weak demand for larger wafers. Chin, who maintains a Neutral, thinks Rubicon won't reach operating breakeven until 2015.
- Chin's remarks about MOCVD equipment orders bode well for Veeco (VECO +5.9%) and Aixtron (AIXG +2.7%). The former was upgraded by CLSA this morning, and by UBS 18 days ago.
- Also: AppleInsider is reporting Apple and GT Advanced are looking to expand their new Arizona sapphire production facility. Rubicon shares jumped after Apple's deal with GT was announced last fall, as investors bet the deal would lead to a more favorable sapphire supply/demand balance.
Mar. 11, 2014, 9:46 AM
- Vipshop (VIPS -4.1%) has been cut to Neutral by Goldman. Shares blasted off last week in response to the company's Q4 beat and strong guidance.
- Unisys (UIS -6.5%) has been cut to Market Perform by Raymond James.
- Aixtron (AIXG -1.6%) has been cut to Neutral by BNP Paribas.
- As part of a chip sector coverage launch, AppliedMicro (AMCC +1%), TowerJazz (TSEM +1.5%), Neonode (NEON +1.6%), RF Micro (RFMD +1.8%), and TriQuint (TQNT +1.6%) have been started at Buy by Ascendiant Capital.
AIXG vs. ETF Alternatives
Aixtron SE provides deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry. Its solutions are used to build components for electronic and opto-electronic applications based on compound, silicon, or organic semiconductor materials.
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