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Lam Research Corporation (LRCX)

  • Jul. 30, 2014, 4:14 PM
    • Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): FQ4 EPS of $1.25 beats by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $1.25B (+26.7% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Jul. 25, 2014, 3:29 PM
    • David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital returned 7.9% after fees in Q2, bringing its YTD return to 6.4%. The S&P 500 returned 5.2% in Q2 and 7.1% YTD.
    • Among the fund's biggest gainers was Micron (MU -1.2%), with Einhorn noting last year's spike in DRAM prices turning out to not be a blip, and that consensus estimates remain too low - get ready for more earnings surprises and multiple expansion, he says.
    • "Nothing could be further from the truth," says Einhorn referring to media reports that he believes all tech is in a bubble. Among Greenlight's largest positions are Micron, Apple, Lam Research, and Marvell Technology. Of the Lam  (LRCX -0.6%) position - which was started in Q2 - Einhorn says the fund's average purchase price is $54.07, representing 7x Greenlight's estimate of calendar 2015 earnings, net of cash (the stock's near $70 at the moment).
  • Jul. 8, 2014, 6:27 PM
    • Applied Materials (AMAT) "made a compelling case that technology inflections could become tailwinds [for chip equipment demand] at the FinFET and 3D NAND transitions," writes Credit Suisse's John Pitzer after taking in the firm's analyst day (held at the Semicon West conference).
    • Pitzer adds AMAT sees $10B+ in cumulative revenue opportunities from the deposition and etching markets related to 3D NAND flash investments. However, he thinks Lam Research (LRCX), which just offered a bullish analyst day outlook of its own, is a better 3D NAND play.
    • Cowen's Timothy Arcuri argues strong FinFET (3D transistor) and 3D NAND capacity targets, together with healthy maintenance spend, "argues more re-rating for AMAT and the sector in general." At the same time, he's worried about the impact of 3D NAND growth on NAND supply, and thus the multiples afforded to SanDisk (SNDK), which has rallied strongly this year.
    • AMAT remains confident the Tokyo Electron (TOELF) merger will close this year. The post-merger company will call itself Eteris. Analyst Robert Maire thinks AMAT/Tokyo will buy Entegris (ENTG) once the deal closes.
    • KLA-Tencor (KLAC), though hiking its June quarter guidance, is a little cautious about near-term demand. "This is a quarter where we believe we're in a bit of a pause right now in the industry ... Bookings that we got, while strong, were really for foundry, and more for delivery and revenues that we'll see in calendar '15." Berenberg issued a cautious note last week.
    • Trade group SEMI now expects total chip equipment spend to grow 20.8% in 2014 to $38.4B, and 10.8% in 2015 to $42.6B.
    • Other industry names: ASML, UTEK, RTEC, KLIC, MTSN, ASMI, MKSI
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  • Jul. 8, 2014, 1:24 PM
    • Lam Research (LRCX +2.7%) guides during its 2014 analyst day (webcast) for $1B in 2014 operating cash flow, and for 2H14 revenue growth to be on par with 1H growth. The company also expresses confidence its recent share gains will continue.
    • Shares are making fresh 52-week highs on an ugly day for tech. They soared in April following an FQ3 beat and bullish CC commentary, and rose two weeks ago following a Cowen PT hike.
    • Lam's outlook comes as the chip equipment industry's Semicon West conference gets underway. Industry commentary has been largely (but not uniformly) bullish going in.
    | Comment!
  • Jun. 23, 2014, 12:00 PM
    • Cowen has upped its Lam Research (LRCX +1.6%) PT by $17 to $80, while reiterating an Outperform. The firm is upbeat about the impact of Samsung's 3D NAND flash investments, following delays.
    • Shares now +24% YTD. They took off in April following an FQ3 beat, strong guidance, and a better-than-expected forecast for 2014 industry wafer fab equipment spend. They later added to their gains on news of a dividend launch and $850M buyback.
    • Lam currently goes for 12x FY15 (ends June '15) EPS exc. net cash. David Einhorn disclosed a 1.2M-share position in May.
    | Comment!
  • May 15, 2014, 6:12 PM
    • David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, a GM investor since 2011, unloaded its position in the auto giant (nearly 17M shares at the end of Q4) in Q1. (13F)
    • In addition, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway cut its GM stake by 10M shares to 30M. (13F)
    • While Einhorn sold GM, he bought into Nokia (NOK), establishing a 3.5M-share position ahead of the closing of the sale of its phone unit to Microsoft. Einhorn also started a 1.2M-share position in chip equipment maker Lam Research (LRCX).
    • Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC, which first bought into Nokia in Q3 last year, maintained a 4.5M-share position in Q1. (13F)
    • Einhorn wasn't kidding last month when he said he has added to the SunEdison (SUNE) position. Greenlight owned 11.8M shares of the solar project developer at the end of Q1, up from just 1.3M at the end of Q4 and good for a 4%+ stake.
  • Apr. 29, 2014, 5:44 PM
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  • Apr. 29, 2014, 5:34 PM
    • Lam Research (LRCX) is initiating an $0.18/share quarterly dividend (1.25% yield). The first dividend will be paid on July 2 to holders on record as of June 11.
    • Lam is also launching an $850M buyback that replaces a prior $250M authorization (had $49M remaining). The new buyback is good for repurchasing 9% of shares at current levels.
    • The capital return efforts come with Lam trading close to its 52-week high of $58.94. Shares soared last week after the chip equipment maker beat FQ3 estimates and offered strong FQ4 guidance.
    | Comment!
  • Apr. 24, 2014, 1:42 PM
    • Lam Research (LRCX +11%) beat FQ3 estimates and guided on its CC (transcript) for FQ4 revenue of $1.19B-$1.29B and EPS of $1.14-$1.28, above a consensus of $1.16B and $1.09. Ultratech (UTEK +3.6%) missed Q1 estimates, but has reiterated guidance for 25%-30% 2014 revenue growth (above a 23.5% consensus).
    • Just as importantly for the industry, Lam has forecast the global wafer fab equipment market will be worth $32B in 2014 - $1B more than what Gartner previously forecast.
    • Lam also mentioned it has "seen some strengthening" in DRAM equipment orders - clients have been conservative with their capex following industry consolidation - and a "sustained commitment" among logic/foundry clients (Intel and TSMC?) to advanced processes (20nm, 3D transistors, etc.). However, there have been "some slight delays" in 3D NAND flash investments.
    • Chip equipment peers are also up: AMAT +1.4%. KLAC +1.5%. ASML +2.1%. ACLS +1.6%. CAMT +5.3%. RTEC +1.5%. PLAB +3.4%. One notable exception is Teradyne (TER -4.1%), which provided light Q2 EPS guidance - $0.36-$0.43 vs. a consensus of $0.49 - to go with a Q1 beat. Revenue guidance is in-line.
    • The group sold off last week after ASML offered soft guidance and a cautious 2H outlook. KLA reports after the bell.
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  • Apr. 24, 2014, 12:46 PM
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  • Apr. 23, 2014, 5:38 PM
  • Apr. 23, 2014, 4:19 PM
    • Lam Research Corporation (LRCX): FQ3 EPS of $1.26 beats by $0.10.
    • Revenue of $1.23B (+45.6% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
    • Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • Apr. 23, 2014, 12:10 AM
  • Apr. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Apr. 16, 2014, 11:40 AM
    • ASML (ASML -5.5%) has lowered its 1H14 sales outlook. Moreover, the lithography equipment kingpin says logic IC customers are "encountering timing uncertainties in next-generation device designs" for 2H, and that NAND flash memory makers are "continuing their evaluation of [3D] NAND and future-node planar technologies, resulting in uncertainties for system demand."
    • ASML's remarks about logic customers might partly be a reference to Intel, which has reportedly delayed the launch of its 14nm Broadwell CPUs. NAND vendors have been keeping a lid on capex for some time; recent price pressure might encourage them to do so.
    • Chip equipment peers Applied Materials (AMAT -2%), KLA-Tencor (KLAC -2.5%), Lam Research (LRCX -2.5%), Axcelis (ACLS -2.6%), Camtek (CAMT -5.8%), and Ultratech (UTEK -0.9%) are off in sympathy. Compared with many other tech companies, the group has held up well during the March/April selloff.
    • One silver lining: ASML says multiple customers are qualifying 10nm EUV lithography equipment, and that it expects to recognize revenue on 8 EUV systems in 2014. Investments in both EUV and 450mm wafers have been delayed.
    • Gartner has forecast chip wafer fab equipment spend will grow 14.9% in 2014 to $31B, after falling 9.1% in 2013.
    | Comment!
  • Mar. 13, 2014, 6:37 PM
    • Lithography equipment giant ASML has "paused" the development of hardware meant to work with next-gen 450mm wafers, which offer 125% more wafer space (and thus better economies of scale) than current-gen 300mm wafers. Likewise, Applied Materials (AMAT) CEO Gary Dickerson says the 450mm migration "has definitely been pushed out from a timing standpoint."
    • Due to ASML's move, Intel (INTC), which agreed in 2012 to pour $4.1B into the company to help finance investments in 450mm wafers and EUV lithography, has "adjusted" the pace of its payments to ASML.
    • Last year, Intel began constructing a $2B Oregon development fab meant to be its first 450mm facility. But it's reevaluating its timetable amid soft PC demand and concerns about its share of the bill. Spokesman Chuck Mulloy: "We still believe 450 is the right thing to do ... But we have been clear: we will not do it ourselves."
    • EUV, considered necessary to maintain Moore's Law long-term, has also seen delays. ASML CEO Peter Wennink recently predicted EUV will reach the stability levels required by chip manufacturers by the 2H16 or 2017.
    • Other chip equipment makers: KLAC, LRCX, RTEC, NVMI, UTEK, TOELF
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Company Description
Lam Research Corp is a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry.