Last month we wrote a piece asking someone (anyone) to tell Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) CEO Mike Splinter there’s a slowdown coming for semiconductor equipment manufacturers. Apparently someone gave him the message, but he is taking it only half-heartedly. According to TheStreet.com:
Splinter said he expects Applied’s silicon business to grow by more than 10% in fiscal 2007, outpacing the broader industry. But executives warned of a “modest pullback” among customers in the current quarter.
Applied projected that sales will decline 5% to 10% sequentially in its fiscal first quarter. That suggests a revenue range of $2.41 billion to $2.28 billion, below the average analyst expectation of $2.46 billion.
When we wrote our plea for intervention, we noted that Mike Splinter called the bottom of the last slowdown for about 8 consecutive quarters, so what should we expect? Which brings us to a new (albeit slow-paced) drinking game. From now until there is actually a bottom in semiconductor equipment orders, we will take a shot each time Splinter suggests that orders have/will bottom in the current/next quarter.
AMAT 1-yr chart: