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Rudolph Announces New SONUS Technology and Collaboration with TEL NEXX for Advanced Packaging Process ControlBusiness Wire (Jul 21, 2014)
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at CNBC.com (Jan 26, 2012)
at MarketWatch.com (Dec 15, 2011)
Mon, Aug. 4, 4:23 PM| Comment!
Sun, Aug. 3, 5:35 PM
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Fri, Jul. 25, 4:58 PM
- KLA-Tencor (KLAC -1.9%) guided on its FQ4 CC (transcript) for FQ1 revenue of $590M-$650M (-6% Y/Y at the midpoint) and EPS of $0.34-$0.54, well below a consensus of $740M and $0.88. Bookings are expected to drop to $600M-$800M from an FQ4 level of $898M (topped guidance of $625M-$825M).
- Several chip equipment peers underperformed following the numbers on a weak day for stocks. AMAT -2.4%. ASML -2%. RTEC -3.5%. UCTT -3.2%. MTSN -2.3%. The group has had a good run this year on optimism about industry consolidation and a strong up-cycle.
- Discussing its guidance, KLA observed delivery for major FQ4 orders for 14nm equipment from a foundry client (likely Samsung or Globalfoundries) isn't expected to start until FQ2. The company added it's generally cautious about 2014 foundry revenue.
- But KLA expects revenue growth to resume in FQ2, and is optimistic about 2015 demand, as foundry clients (responsible for 68% of FQ4 orders) invest heavily to ramp 16nm and 14nm production. Samsung and Globalfoundries have big 14nm plans for 2015; TSMC is attempting to counter with its 16nm FinFET+ process.
- FQ4 gross margin was 56%, missing KLA's guidance midpoint by 150 bps and contributing to an EPS miss. KLA blames product mix and higher-than-expected services costs. GM is expected to fall to 54%-55% in FQ1 due to lower revenue.
Tue, Jul. 8, 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
Tue, Apr. 29, 12:46 PM
Mon, Apr. 28, 4:11 PM| Comment!
Sun, Apr. 27, 5:35 PM
Thu, Apr. 24, 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.
Thu, Mar. 13, 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
Mon, Feb. 3, 4:11 PM| Comment!
Fri, Jan. 24, 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.
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%.
Nov. 4, 2013, 5:18 PM
Sep. 4, 2013, 4:45 PM
- During a Citi conference talk (transcript), KLA (KLAC +5.5%) CFO Bren Higgins said he was "encouraged by some things" he has seen in 2H, such as strong investments in the next-gen 20nm manufacturing process (TSMC and Samsung are both moving aggressively), "pretty solid" demand for 28nm gear, improving demand in the reticle inspection market (a weak spot as of late) and "increasing momentum" for 3D NAND flash production (Samsung is an early adopter).
- Altogether, Higgins thinks KLA's 2H revenue can total $1.5B or more. Analysts currently expect 2H revenue of $1.42B.
- Higgins also asserted KLA's dominant position in the process control portion of the chip equipment market (~58% share) will allow it to gain equipment share during the coming up cycle, given much of the growth will be driven by mobile chips made by foundries and logic IC firms (historically the biggest buyers of process control hardware).
- Applied Materials (AMAT +3.3%) CFO Bob Halliday was nearly as upbeat during his Citi talk (transcript), asserting his company benefits from both 3D NAND investments and the adoption of 3D (FinFET) transistors by the likes of Intel and TSMC. Long-term, the use of more advanced materials in FinFET production is viewed as a growth driver.
- Halliday also mentioned AMAT is open to making new acquisitions, and (in spite of improving conditions) will be "very, very careful" in terms of how it invests in solar due to industry overcapacity.
- Peer Lam Research (LRCX +5.6%) also presented today, and also closed sharply higher. ASML +1.4%. MTSN +2.9%. UTEK +2.2%. RTEC +2.2%.
Aug. 1, 2013, 4:43 PM
Jul. 1, 2013, 6:46 PMGlobal chip sales rose 3.4% M/M in May, per the SIA's latest data. On a 3-month rolling average basis, they rose 4.6% M/M but just 1.3% Y/Y. Analysts are generally pleased. Though Evercore still expects a weak 2H, JPMorgan (6% 2013 growth forecast) notes sales are picking up following a weak Q1; Wedbush thinks both the data and its own checks suggest a chip recovery "continues at a healthy and steady pace;" and Wells Fargo (8%-10% 2013 forecast) likes the fact IC sales rose 6% Y/Y. Wells adds the ratio of chip equipment sales to IC sales remains low at 14%, which suggests equipment orders will eventually pick up. Chip equipment makers: AMAT, KLAC, LRCX, ASML, UTEK, RTEC. (Gartner) | Comment!
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Rudolph Technologies Inc is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of defect inspection, advanced packaging lithography, thin film metrology, and data analysis systems and software used by microelectronics device manufacturers.