FormFactor (FORM) is buying fellow chip test equipment maker MicroProbe for $100M in cash and $17M in stock. MicroProbe posted 2011 sales of $87.3M, up 46% Y/Y (boosted by cyclicality). M&A activity in the slumping chip equipment space has been picking up - the year had already seen Lam Research merge with Novellus and Tokyo Electron snap up FSI International, and last year, Applied Materials bought Varian. Some smaller names that are still independent: CYMI, LTXC, COHU, UTEK, RTEC.
Testing gear maker Cohu (COHU) is -8.1%, despite strong Q4 sales from its semiconductor business that lifted its GAAP net income to $0.39/share, up from $0.03/share in Q4 2009. But it offered Q1 guidance for revenue of from $85M to $90M, and the consensus calls for revenue of $88M.