Yesterday, 1:53 PM
- Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC +2.4%) asserts the APAMA C2W, its second chip-to-wafer (C2W) thermo-compression bonder, delivers "industry-leading throughput, placement accuracy, metrology and cost-of-ownership advantages to the high growth Advanced Packaging market."
- The bonder supports 2.5D and 3D chip packages. Kulicke declares the C2W bonders and the products acquired through its recent acquisition of Dutch chip equipment maker Assembleon give it "a complete offering of advanced packaging solutions ranging FOWLP, Wafer Level Packaging (WLP), Flip Chip, System-in-a-Package ((SiP)), Package-on-Package (PoP), Embedded die and TCB."
- Shares are up in the face of a 2% Nasdaq drop.
Tue, Aug. 4, 9:46 AM
- In addition to missing FQ3 estimates, Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC -0.6%) is guiding for FQ4 revenue of $135M-$145M, below a $187.9M consensus. However, expectations were low: Various chipmakers and chip packaging/testing firms have provided soft guidance, and Intel recently cut its 2015 capex budget by another $1B.
- CEO Bruno Guilmart: "The lower level of guidance largely stems from higher inventory levels throughout the semiconductor value chain and expectations for muted semiconductor unit growth ... Our exposure to new market opportunities combined with a relentless focus on operational efficiency are anticipated to drive fundamental business improvements and further enhance our ability to perform throughout the cycle."
- Boosting FQ3 EPS: Kulicke, pressured in the past by Lemelson Capital to return capital, repurchased 3.8M shares (5% of outstanding shares) during the quarter. Kulicke still ended FQ3 with $475.9M in cash (equal to 62% of its market cap), and no debt.
- Gross margin fell 10 bps Q/Q and Y/Y to 47.1%. R&D/SG&A spend rose 12% Y/Y to $58.5M.
- FQ3 results, PR
Tue, Aug. 4, 6:56 AM
Mon, Aug. 3, 5:30 PM
- ABMD, ADM, AET, AFSI, ALE, ALLT, ALR, AME, ANIP, ARCC, BLMN, BPI, BZH, CAS, CBT, CHD, CHTR, CIE, COH, CRCM, CRTO, CVS, DWRE, EIGI, ELOS, EMR, ETR, EXH, EXLP, EXPD, FRM, FUN, GEO, GLDD, GLT, H, HAR, HCN, HCP, HEP, HNT, HW, HYH, IIVI, INCY, K, KLIC, LPX, LRN, LXP, MDC, MGM, MLM, MNK, MNTA, MOS, MPW, NAO, NCLH, NGLS, NRG, [[NTi]], NWN, NYLD, ODP, OZM, PH, REGN, RHP, RRD, SABR, SCOR, SGNT, SMG, SNI, SRE, STE, STWD, TDG, TGH, TICC, TIME, UNT, USAK, VMC, VSH, VTG, WLK, WNR, WPC, WRES, ZTS
Thu, Jul. 16, 12:40 PM
- Applied Materials (AMAT -3.6%), ASML (ASML -4.9%), Lam Research (LRCX -4.2%), KLA-Tencor (KLAC -4.4%), Ultratech (UTEK -4.8%), Rudolph (RTEC -3.1%), Mattson (MTSN -2.4%), Advantest (ATE -2.6%), Teradyne (TER -0.9%), and Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC -1.2%) are lower (in spite of a 1.1% Nasdaq gain) after Intel cut its capex budget for the third time this year, this time by $1B to $7.7B (+/- $500M). The chip giant spent $10.1B on capex in 2014, and $10.7B-$11B in 2011-2013.
- Also: Intel disclosed it now expects to bring its first 10nm CPUs to market in 2H17, breaking with its historical 2-year manufacturing process upgrade pace and leading some to wonder if Moore's Law is proving harder to maintain. Intel's first 14nm CPUs (based on the Broadwell architecture) arrived last September.
- Separately, TSMC (cut its capex budget in April) provided cautious remarks about global chip demand. The world's biggest foundry expects 3% 2015 chip industry growth and 6%-10% foundry market growth.
- The selloff comes shortly after Applied and Lam provided aggressive 3-year EPS growth targets (I, II) at investor meetings held during the chip industry's Semicon West conference. ASML rallied yesterday following a Q2 beat and positive 2H15 outlook.
Tue, May 5, 9:10 PM
- Though Kulicke & Soffa (NASDAQ:KLIC) beat FQ2 revenue estimates today (while missing on EPS), the company has guided for FQ3 revenue of $160M-$170M, below a $197.2M consensus. The outlook follows capex budget cuts from Intel and TSMC.
- When asked on the CC (transcript) about the guidance, CEO Bruno Guilmart noted broader industry weakness, and also suggested the smaller pin counts enabled by newer chip packaging technologies could be affecting orders for Kulicke's ball bonders. He argued the packaging needs of chips used in IoT devices will drive future growth.
- Weighing on FQ2 EPS: Gross margin fell 370 bps Q/Q and 330 bps Y/Y to 47.2%. Also: The tax rate was 20.1%, above Kulicke's historical guidance range. CFO Jonathan Chau attributed this to several factors, while adding the company expects its long-term effective tax rate to be around 15%.
- Chau mentioned $10M has been spent on buybacks via Kulicke's $100M buyback program. Meanwhile, Guilmart indicated Dutch chip equipment maker Assembleon (recently acquired) is posting ~$20M/quarter in sales, with a weak euro acting as a headwind.
- Shares fell 13.2% in regular trading to $13.53.
- FQ2 results, PR
Tue, May 5, 6:56 AM
Mon, May 4, 5:30 PM
- ABMD, ACTA, AFSI, ALLT, AMAG, ANIP, BBEP, BBW, BLMN, BPI, CIE, CLDT, CRTO, CVLT, CYNO, DIS, DISCA, DTV, EIGI, EL, EMR, ENR, EXH, EXLP, GCAP, GLDD, GLT, GTN, GVA, H, HCA, HCP, HEP, HRC, HRS, HW, ICE, ISIS, K, KEM, KLIC, KMT, LPX, MDC, MDCO, MMP, MNK, MSO, NBL, NGLS, NNN, [[NTi]], NWN, ODP, OZM, PRIM, SABR, SALE, SBH, SCOR, SGNT, SMG, SNSS, SPAR, SRE, SSE, STWD, TDG, TECH, TGH, TRW, TW, UAM, USAK, VLP, VMC, VSH, WEC, WNR, YORW, ZTS
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-$12B; Samsung is also expected to spend heavily this year. Between them, Intel, TSMC, and Samsung account for roughly half of all chip equipment capex.
Thu, Mar. 26, 10:50 AM
- The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX -1.8%) is now down 6% over the last two days. Today's losses come after NAND flash giant SanDisk issued a Q1 warning and withdrew its full-year guidance - price pressure, soft enterprise sales, and delayed product qualifications were all blamed.
- Meanwhile, some are partly blaming yesterday's big selloff on cautious remarks from TSMC (has an estimated ~50% global foundry share) at a Credit Suisse conference. CS analyst Randy Abrams reports TSMC (NYSE:TSM) has observed "a slowdown in the past 4-5 weeks due to US$ 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, Jan. 28, 11:07 AM
- In addition to beating FQ1 estimates, Kulicke & Soffa (NASDAQ:KLIC) has guided for FQ2 revenue of $125M-$145M, above a $128.4M consensus at the midpoint.
- Ball bonder equipment sales fell 54.9% Q/Q, and wedge bonder sales 9.6%. Quarter-ending backlog was $60.5M vs. $79.1M at the end of FQ4 and $46M a year earlier.
- Gross margin rose 350 bps Q/Q and 240 bps YY to 50.9%, and operating expenses rose 11% Y/Y to $45M.
- Kulicke ended FQ1 with $633.4M in cash/short-term investments. That's equal to 57% of its current market cap. Shares have risen to their highest levels in more than a decade.
- FQ1 results, PR
Wed, Jan. 28, 6:57 AM
Tue, Jan. 27, 5:30 PM| Tue, Jan. 27, 5:30 PM | 1 Comment
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
Thu, Jan. 8, 4:18 PM
- Hit hard on Tuesday amid a market rout, chip stocks have more than made up for it today: The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +3%) handily exceeded the Nasdaq's 1.8% gain. The index posted a 1% gain yesterday.
- Micron (MU +4.9%) has been one of the standouts, more than recouping yesterday's post-earnings losses. Ditto Freescale (FSL +9.2%), which benefited from a Deutsche target hike, and Marvell, which got a lift from an MKM note. Others: NVDA +3.8%. NXPI +4.7%. AVGO +5%. SWKS +4.5%. CY +6.1%. CODE +5.9%. CAVM +5.2%. SWKS +4.5%. SLAB +4.5%. KLIC +3.8%. SMTC +3.6%. ATML +3.7%. FCS +4.2%. TSEM +4.2%.
- As is their custom, both chipmakers and their clients have been unveiling plenty of new products at CES.
- ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Dec. 29, 2014, 5:48 PM
- Kulicke & Soffa (NASDAQ:KLIC) is acquiring Assembleon, a Dutch provider of chip packaging, chip substrate manufacturing, and auto/industrial manufacturing equipment, for $98M in cash. The deal is expected to close by Jan. 15, and be accretive within its first year.
- Assembleon, once a Philips unit, is expected to have 2014 revenue of $90M. Kulicke, a top supplier of bonding equipment for the chip industry, declares Assembleon's "existing solutions and technological competencies present a very attractive strategic opportunity and further extend our ability to capitalize on the advanced packaging market."
- With Kulicke possessing $597.1M in cash at the end of Q3, the purchase can be easily financed using cash on hand, even after accounting for the company's $100M buyback.
KLIC vs. ETF Alternatives
Kulicke & Soffa Industries Incdesigns, manufactures and sells capital equipment and expendable tools used to assemble semiconductor devices, including integrated circuits, high and low powered discrete devices, LEDs and power modules.
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