By Tejas Venkatesh, Scott Denne
In its biggest deal ever, Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) is acquiring fellow chip manufacturing equipment vendor Tokyo Electron (8035) for $9.3bn in stock. The rationale for the transaction lines up closely with Applied's cost-cutting motive in its $4.9bn purchase of Varian Semiconductor, and comes at a time when we expect limited revenue growth in the semiconductor equipment market.
In buying Tokyo Electron, Applied is projecting a $60m decrease in its quarterly operational expenses after a year and $120m by the third year following the close. Applied achieved similar (although smaller) results when it acquired Varian in the summer of 2011. Then Applied promised to shave $12m-16m off its quarterly expenses, and though it's a quarter away from the deadline, its operating expenses came in at $556m last quarter - $14m lower than what Varian and Applied put up before the deal.
In a survey this month by ChangeWave Research, a service of 451 Research, 16% of semiconductor vendors indicated that their capital budgets would decrease for the next quarter, versus just 2% who expected an increase.
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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.