Yesterday, 2:00 PM
- Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) has tumbled towards $20 following news it has cancelled its planned $29B merger with Tokyo Electron, following a DOJ rejection of Applied/Tokyo's proposed remedies.
- The merger would've created a company that controlled about a quarter of global chip equipment spend, prior to any divestments. Several peers have rallied, perhaps aided by hopes they'll now be targeted.
- In an attempt to soften the blow, Applied has launched a new $3B buyback. It's good for repurchasing 11% of shares at current levels, and lasts through the third quarter of FY18.
- Stifel's Patrick Ho (Buy) is "surprised by the [DOJ's] ruling," given limited product overlap that could've been addressed via remedies. "In our view, persistent customer 'complaints' likely made it more difficult for regulators to approve the deal ... we believe that a great deal of focus has been placed on trying to complete this deal and while we believe Applied Materials is still well positioned to capitalize on these emerging industry inflections, there is a feeling of 'wasted energy' in this long tedious process..."
- Needham's Edwin Mok (Hold) thinks Applied is better off without Tokyo: He argues cultural differences would've limited operational synergies, thinks Tokyo has seen "accelerated share loss" since the 2013 merger announcement, and believes "AMAT alone is better leveraged to increased [etching/deposition equipment] intensity at the leading edge and is likely to see greater growth trajectory ahead."
Yesterday, 9:18 AM
Yesterday, 3:24 AM
- Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Tokyo Electron (OTCPK:TOELY) said they will scrap plans for a merger that would have created a company with a market value of $29B, citing problems with the U.S. Department of Justice.
- The future of the deal was put into doubt earlier this year when the plan was delayed due to regulatory issues in several different countries.
Mon, Apr. 20, 4:52 PM
- In addition to beating FQ3 estimates, Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) is guiding for FQ4 revenue of $1.46B (+/- $50M) and EPS of $1.46 (+- $0.07), above a consensus of $1.39B and $1.35.
- Shipments are expected to rise to $1.6B (+/- $50M) from FQ3's $1.497B (+20% Q/Q and topping a guidance midpoint of $1.45B). CEO Martin Anstice sings a well-known refrain. "Our differentiated products and services are directly addressing the market driving technology inflections of multi-patterning, 3D device architecture and advanced packaging."
- The deferred revenue balance rose 30% Q/Q to $485.2M. Gross margin (non-GAAP) fell 70 bps Q/Q and 80 bps Y/Y to 44.7%. Operating expenses rose 11% Y/Y to $355M. $124.9M was spent on buybacks.
- Shares have risen to $77.52 AH; the all-time high is $85.70. Goldman's table-pounding was well-timed.
- Peers are getting a lift: Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) is up 1.6% AH to $22.11, and KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) is up 1.1% to $59.20. KLA reports on Thursday.
- FQ3 results, PR
Thu, Apr. 16, 6:34 PM
- Two days after Intel cut its 2015 capex budget by $1.3B to $8.7B (+/- $500M), TSMC (NYSE:TSM) has used its Q1 report to cut its 2015 capex budget by $1B to $10.5B-$11.5B.
- Co-CEO Mark Liu: "We think semiconductor industry growth this year has indeed adjusted down from 5% earlier to 4%. It’s really due to the macroeconomic situation around the world. The foundry growth rate will adjust down too. We’re looking at about 10%."
- CFO Lora Ho notes there's 90% commonality in equipment used by TSMC's 20nm process and its next-gen 16nm FinFET process (the focus of much of this year's spending). Co-CEO C.C. Wei states TSMC's 16nm ramp is going faster than expected thanks to improving yields; volume production is expected to start in Q3.
- The world's biggest foundry is still set to spend more on capex than it did in 2014 ($9.52B), something that can't be said for Intel. Samsung has been forecast by IC Insights to spend $11.3B on chip capex this year, as it ramps 14nm production and expands DRAM/NAND output.
- Chip equipment giant Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) sold off in regular trading following the news. AMAT also briefly dropped in response to Intel's capex cut, but closed higher the next day amid a chip stock rally.
- Earlier: TSMC off slightly after Q1 EPS beat, light Q2 sales guidance
Tue, Apr. 14, 5:23 PM
- Intel has used its Q1 report to cut its 2015 capex budget by $1.3B to $8.7B (+/- $500M). The midpoint of the guidance range implies a 14% drop from a 2014 level of $10.1B, which itself was below 2011-2013 levels of $10.7B-$11B.
- Several chip equipment makers are lower AH in response. Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) -1.4%. KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) -1.5%. Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) -1.4%. Kulicke & Soffa (NASDAQ:KLIC) -0.8%.
- In January, TSMC set an aggressive 2015 capex budget of $11.5B-$12B; Samsung is also expected to spend heavily this year. Between them, Intel, TSMC, and Samsung account for roughly half of all chip equipment capex.
Wed, Apr. 1, 5:39 PM
Wed, Mar. 25, 3:57 PM
- With the Nasdaq down 2.3%, only a handful of tech companies are posting 2%+ gains. Meanwhile, the ranks of those posting 4%+ losses are considerable.
- Notable decliners include telecom/networking chipmakers Broadcom (BRCM -5.3%) and PMC-Sierra (PMCS -4.4%), chip equipment giant Applied Materials (AMAT -5.5%), optical component vendor Finisar (FNSR -6.7%), smart grid hardware/software vendor Silver Spring (SSNI -7.9%), Chinese app developer Cheetah Mobile (CMCM -4.4%), cable infrastructure/set-top vendor Arris (ARRS -4.8%), server OEM Super Micro (SMCI -5.8%), IP licensing firm Finjan (FNJN -13.8%), and cloud life sciences software leader Veeva (VEEV -5.7%).
- Broadcom, PMC-Sierra, and Applied Materials have joined a slew of other chip industry names in posting steep losses. Finjan is reversing yesterday's big gains. Cheetah Mobile, which sold off post-earnings last week, announced today's it's the lead investor in a $24M funding round for social/mobile ad platform Nanigans; the move follows the $58M purchase of French mobile ad network MobPartner.
- Previously covered: Solar stocks, Mobileye, GoPro, Groupon, On Track, Netlist, Baidu/Qihoo, AMD, Yingli, Lexmark/Kofax
Tue, Mar. 3, 3:07 PM
- With the Nasdaq down 0.6%, the number of tech companies posting outsized declines easily surpasses the number posting significant gains.
- Chinese firms are well-represented on the ranks of notable decliners. In addition to Alibaba, the list includes CDN owner ChinaCache (CCIH -4.6%), mobile app developer Cheetah Mobile (CMCM -9.8%), solar module vendor Yingli (YGE -4%), polysilicon provider Daqo (DQ -5.1%), real estate sites SouFun (SFUN -4.5%) and Leju (LEJU -4.3%), and data center owner 21Vianet (VNET -2.9%).
- Other decliners include chip equipment giant Applied Materials (AMAT -4.2%), seismic tech provider Geospace (GEOS -4.9%), VoIP infrastructure hardware/software firm Sonus (SONS -4.7%), IT services firm WidePoint (WYY -3.7%), auto site TrueCar (TRUE -7.4%), and online grocery coupon provider Coupons.com (COUP -5.2%).
- SouFun fell hard yesterday following news 58.com is buying real estate site Anjuke. Many Chinese tech firms sold off last Friday as the yuan made 3-year lows against the dollar.
- Previously covered: Seagate/Western Digital, Micron, Overstock
- Notable gainers: Veeva, Gogo, Vringo, Finjan, Aviat
Thu, Feb. 19, 11:54 AM
- South Korea's Fair Trade Commission plans to conditionally approve Applied Materials' (NASDAQ:AMAT) merger with Tokyo Electron (OTCPK:TOELF +5%). The regulator adds it's talking with peers in six countries (inc. the U.S. and Japan) to nail down details for approving a deal.
- A government official says Applied/Tokyo have agreed "not to launch combined chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) businesses in Korea," and to also "establish new entities for fair competition, if necessary."
- The announcement comes after Samsung and SK Hynix had voiced objections to the deal, which stands to create a colossus possessing ~25% of the global chip equipment market. The DOJ was reported in December to be vetting a buyer for assets Applied/Tokyo plan to divest to win U.S. regulatory approval.
- Separately, Applied has filed proxy materials for its 2015 annual meeting (set for April 2). The company discloses CEO Gary Dickerson's compensation rose 59% in 2014 to $16.4M, thanks in part to a cash grant meant to avoid an excise tax that would apply to stock option awards following the closing of the Tokyo Electron deal.
Wed, Feb. 11, 6:25 PM
- Though it beat FQ1 revenue estimates and posted in-line EPS, Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) is guiding for FQ2 revenue to be flat to up just a couple percent Q/Q, and for EPS of $0.26-$0.30. That's below a consensus for 5% Q/Q revenue growth and EPS of $0.32.
- FQ1 orders totaled $2.27B, +1% Q/Q and -1% Y/Y, and below revenue of $2.36B (negative book-to-bill). Chip equipment orders +7% Q/Q to $1.43B, with DRAM/NAND growth offsetting logic and foundry declines. Global services -8% to $690M due to lower chip services and 200mm wafer equipment orders. Display -18% to $107M due to lower TV equipment orders, and energy/environmental (solar) +14% to $50M. Forex adjustments contributed to a 5% drop in backlog to $2.78B.
- Gross margin fell to 42.3% from 44.2% in FQ4 and 42.5% a year ago. Operating expenses (non-GAAP) rose less than 1% Y/Y to $552M, in spite of 8% revenue growth.
- AMAT -1.7% AH to $23.86. KLA-Tencor provided soft guidance last month.
- FQ1 results, PR
Wed, Feb. 11, 4:15 PM
Tue, Feb. 10, 5:35 PM
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Fri, Jan. 30, 4:50 PM| Comment!
Fri, Jan. 23, 2:25 PM
- Applied Materials (AMAT -1.7%) and ASML (ASML -1.5%) are off moderately after chip equipment peer KLA-Tencor (KLAC -7.1%) offered soft guidance (for the third quarter in a row) to go with an FQ2 beat. The Nasdaq is up 0.3%
- On the CC (transcript), CEO Rick Wallace stated KLA has seen orders from both foundry and logic clients for sub-20nm manufacturing equipment "pushed to later in the calendar year." KLA thinks the delays "reflect yield and process stability issues associated with bringing these advanced device architectures to market."
- In July and October, KLA primarily referenced foundry clients when explaining its light guidance. The logic client reference could be about Intel (by the far the biggest of them), which provided a conservative 2015 capex budget last week.
- Wallace also mentioned some orders related to "trailing-edge" manufacturing processes have been "a bit elusive," and that (notably) KLA thinks this is due to "some competitive dynamics in terms of second source strategies and so on."
- Analysts pressed KLA regarding its foundry-related issues, given TSMC is spending heavily and ASML reported strong Taiwanese foundry bookings (presumably from TSMC) earlier this week. On the other hand, memory was a strong point for both KLA and ASML in calendar Q4, respectively accounting for 44% and 27% of the companies' bookings.
Fri, Jan. 16, 7:17 PM
- A day after some industry names outperformed modestly following news TSMC (NYSE:TSM) set a high 2015 capex budget of $11.5B-$12B, chip equipment makers generally traded in-line with a rising tech sector after another one of their big-3 customers, Intel, set a conservative 2015 capex budget of $9.5B-$10.5B.
- TSMC's 2015 budget is well above a 2014 capex level of $9.52B; the world's biggest foundry is both trying to keep up with rising mobile chip orders, and investing heavily to roll out its 16nm FinFET/FinFET+ processes to counter Samsung and Globalfoundries' 14nm FinFET rollouts.
- The midpoint of Intel's 2015 budget is slightly below 2014 spending of $10.1B, which itself was below prior guidance of $10.5B-$11.5B. It's also below 2011-2013 spending of $10.7B-$11B.
- Some cautiousness from Intel might have been expected: Gartner recently forecast industry capex would rise just 0.8% this year to $65.8B, albeit with wafer fab spend rising a healthier 6.7% to $33.7B. Gartner forecast memory capex would rise 13.5% and foundry capex 4.8%, but predicted logic capex (much of it from Intel) would decline 5.3%.
- Also: TSMC has disclosed it sold the 21M-share stake it took in ASML in 2012 for $1.5B, booking a $660M profit along the way. TSMC, Intel, and Samsung each invested in ASML with the goal of accelerating its EUV lithography R&D efforts (viewed as necessary to maintain Moore's Law long-term).
- Between them, Intel, TSMC, and Samsung account for over half of industry capex.
- Chip equipment firms: AMAT, KLAC, LRCX, TER, KLIC, ACLS, UTEK, RTEC, MTSN, ATE, XCRA, OTCPK:TOELF
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