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Lam Research Corporation (LRCX)

- NASDAQ
  • 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
    | 6 Comments
  • Feb. 3, 2014, 9:45 AM
    • Zynga (ZNGA -2%) has been cut to Underperform by BofA/Merrill. Shares flew higher last week after Zynga announced a Q4 beat, major layoffs, and the acquisition of mobile game developer NaturalMotion.
    • Palo Alto Networks (PANW +1.9%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Wells Fargo.
    • Chip equipment makers Applied Materials (AMAT -0.5%), KLA-Tencor (KLAC -1.3%), and Lam Research (LRCX -1.7%) have been cut to Sector Perform by RBC. Lam posted an FQ2 beat last week; KLA delivered an FQ2 EPS beat the week before.
    • Nanometrics (NANO -5%) has been cut to Sector Perform by RBC.
    • Sungy Mobile (GOMO +3.8%) has been started at Outperform by Oppenheimer.
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  • Jan. 29, 2014, 4:14 PM
    • Lam Research Corporation (LRCX): Q2 EPS of $1.10 beats by $0.07.
    • Revenue of $1.16B (+34.7% Y/Y) beats by $60M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Jan. 29, 2014, 12:10 AM
  • Jan. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Jan. 24, 2014, 2:08 PM
    • Chip equipment stocks aren't getting spared from a general market selloff after Samsung (SSNLF - the world's #2 chipmaker) guided for its 2014 chip capex to be flat Y/Y. AMAT -1.6%. LRCX -3.7%. ASML -0.7%. UTEK -2.2%. RTEC -3.2%. MTSN -5.1%.
    • Industry analyst Robert Marie observes this is the first time since 2009 that Samsung hasn't upped its chip capex budget. With Intel and TSMC (the industry's two other big clients) also guiding for capex to be flat (if not down) this year, Marie is cautious about 2014 growth, even though others have forecast sales will rebound sharply this year following a rough 2013.
    • KLA-Tencor (KLAC -2.2%) is joining the selloff even though the company posted an FQ2 EPS beat yesterday afternoon, and provided healthy FQ3 guidance - revenue of $790M-$850M and EPS of $1-$1.20 vs. a consensus of $814.5M and $1.11 - on its CC (transcript). KLA also forecast FQ3 bookings will be in a range of $700M-$800M (implies 10% Q/Q growth at the midpoint), and struck an upbeat tone about 2014 investments in 20nm and 3D NAND flash capacity.
    • KLA still expects 10%+ industry growth this year, but admits its outlook is "slightly weaker" than it was three months ago. The company also believes industry adoption of EUV lithography (important for ASML) has generally been pushed out to the 7nm process node from the 10nm node.
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 13, 2013, 2:50 PM
    • Applied Materials (AMAT) discloses the DOJ has provided it with a request for additional info related to its planned merger with fellow chip equipment giant Tokyo Electron (TOELF). AMAT still expects the deal to close in mid-2014 or 2H14.
    • Many have expected the Applied-Tokyo deal would face close scrutiny, given it stands to create a company with a dominant position in several chip equipment markets, and a total industry share (25.5% in 2012, per Gartner) roughly twice that of #2 ASML (12.8% 2012 share).
    • Morningstar's Andy Ng notes Applied/Tokyo will have a 40% or higher share in six markets - including the key etch (46% 2012 share) and deposition (59%) markets, which are expected to see solid growth as chipmakers ramp production of 3D NAND flash memory and chips featuring 3D/FinFET transistors. Lam Research (LRCX +0.4%) is Applied/Tokyo's biggest rival in each market.
    • Nonetheless, Ng argues chipmakers will back the deal, given the rising cost/complexity of chip manufacturing and the need for equipment vendors with huge R&D resources and diverse skill sets.
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 4, 2013, 4:49 PM
    • During a Credit Suisse conference talk, KLA-Tencor (KLAC -2.7%) CFO Bren Higgins stated his company's FQ2 (Dec. quarter) bookings could miss the midpoint of its guidance range. The potential shortfall is attributed to a $100M order push-out for reticle inspection tools used in the production of cutting-edge 10nm chips.
    • KLA had guided on its FQ1 CC (transcript) for FQ2 bookings of $800M-$950M ($875M midpoint), up from FQ1's $790M and well above revenue guidance of $670M-$730M.
    • Susquehanna's Mehdi Hosseini, who rates KLA a Negative, is "puzzled" by Higgins' explanation, given Intel (long at the bleeding edge of chip manufacturing) is the only company investing in 10nm R&D for now - the chip giant is just getting set to mass-produce 14nm chips - and that KLA's reticle inspection bookings have been in the ~$70M range in recent quarters.
    • The reticle inspection market has been a weak spot for KLA. However, during an upbeat September conference talk, Higgins said demand was improving.
    • Chip equipment sales have been expected to improve in 2014: Trade group SEMI just estimated sales will rise 23% in 2014, after dropping 13% in 2013.
    • Several chip equipment peers have followed KLA lower: AMAT -3%. ASML -2.5%. LRCX -2.9%. RTEC -1.5%. MTSN -2.5%.
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 11, 2013, 8:41 AM
    • Twitter (TWTR) has been started at Neutral by Sterne Agee. Shares -1.4% premarket after dropping 7% on Friday in the wake of neutral/bearish coverage launches. Shares still +58% from their $26 IPO price.
    • Veeva Systems (VEEV) has received four bullish ratings and two neutral ones on underwriter coverage day. Shares +0.6%.
    • American Tower (AMT) has been upgraded to Buy by Citi.
    • Youku (YOKU) has been upgraded to Buy by Brean ahead of Thursday's Q3 report. Shares +3.1%.
    • BT has been upgraded to Overweight by JPMorgan after outbidding Sky for the U.K. TV rights to Champions League games.
    • Netgear (NTGR) has been upgraded to Sector Perform by RBC.
    • Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY, DTEGF) has been cut to Sell by Goldman after striking a $729M deal to buy wireline carrier GTS Central Europe.
    • Lam Research (LRCX) has been cut to Neutral by Susquehanna.
    • Diodes (DIOD) has been cut to Outperform from Strong Buy by Raymond James ahead of tomorrow's Q3 report.
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 23, 2013, 4:27 PM
    • Lam Research (LRCX): FQ1 EPS of $0.81 beats by $0.10.
    • Revenue of $1.02B in-line. Shares +1.9% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 23, 2013, 12:10 AM
  • Oct. 22, 2013, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 14, 2013, 9:42 AM
    • Alcatel-Lucent (ALU +1.4%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Barclays, and Ericsson (ERIC -3.3%) cut to Underweight.
    • AMD (AMD +1.4%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Wedbush.
    • Stratasys (SSYS +2.2%) has been upgraded to Buy by Dougherty & Co.
    • Glu Mobile (GLUU +1.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by B. Riley.
    • Mattson (MTSN +4.9%) has been upgraded to Buy by B. Riley.
    • Expedia (EXPE -6.9%)  has been cut to Hold by Deutsche.
    • Atmel (ATML -1.9%) has been cut to Sector Perform by Pac Crest.
    • As part of a coverage launch for chip equipment stocks, KLA-Tencor (KLAC +0.6%) and Lam Research (LRCX -0.4%) have been started at Overweight by JPMorgan, and Applied Materials (AMAT -1.2%) has been started at Neutral.
    | Comment!
  • Sep. 24, 2013, 6:56 PM
    • Given the huge market shares Applied Materials (AMAT) and Tokyo Electron (TOELF.PK) stand to have in a many chip/display equipment verticals post-merger, antitrust regulators are expected to closely scrutinize the $29B deal. Top chip manufacturers such as Intel, Samsung, and TSMC could be among those to object to it, at least in the absence of some asset sales.
    • Gartner estimates Applied (14.4% share) and Tokyo (11.1% share) had over 1/4 of the global chip equipment market between them in 2012. ASML is assigned a 12.8% share, Lam Research (LRCX) 7.4%, and KLA-Tencor (KLAC) 6.5%.
    • If the deal goes through, it should bring some tax benefits on account of the post-merger company's plans to incorporate in The Netherlands (ASML's home turf). A source tells the FT the combined company will have a tax rate of just 17%.
    • Some analysts see the merger, like other recent deals, being motivated by the chip equipment industry's secular challenges. "It's all cyclical and no growth," remarks S&P's Angelo Zito.
    • Unsurprisingly, Applied offers a more positive take, arguing demand for cutting-edge mobile chips and the industry's race to commercialize EUV lithography (expected in the second half of the decade) presents growth opportunities for companies with superior products. Pac Crest made a similar argument yesterday, while recommending Applied, KLA, and Lam.
    • Gartner thinks chip equipment sales will fall 8.5% in 2013 to $34.6B after dropping 16.1% in 2012. But it also sees sales gradually rising to $49.1B in 2017.
    • Previous: merger announcement, details
    | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 24, 2013, 10:00 AM
    • Applied Materials (AMAT +6.4%) continues to shoot higher after announcing a $29B all-stock merger with fellow chip/LCD equipment maker Tokyo Electron (TOELF.PK), a move that stands to create an industry behemoth. Among chip equipment peers, only ASML (ASML +1.4%) comes close to matching AMAT/Tokyo Electron in size.
    • ASML and Lam Research (LRCX +2.1%) are up moderately in response to the deal, while KLA-Tencor (KLAC) is nearly unchanged. Tokyo Electron closed up 11.7% in Japan.
    • Tokyo Electron had FY13 (ended March '13) revenue of ¥497.3B ($5.03B). Applied is expected to generate FY13 (ends Oct. '13) revenue of $7.53B.
    • The combined company will have dual HQs in Tokyo and Santa Clara (there could be both integration and cultural challenges). Tokyo Electron chairman/CEO Tetsuro Higashi will be chairman, while new/well-respected Applied CEO Gary Dickerson will be CEO.
    • Applied and Tokyo assert the merged company's unmatched materials engineering capabilities will give it an edge in the mobile chip and display equipment markets. The deal is expected to close in "mid to second half of 2014."
    • The chip equipment industry has already seen plenty of consolidation; the Lam Research-Novellus and ASML-Cymer deals are two notable examples. Will Applied-Tokyo Electron fuel additional M&A activity?
    | Comment!
  • Sep. 4, 2013, 5:31 PM
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Company Description
Lam Research Corp is a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry.