Vishay Intertechnology Inc. reported net earnings for the first 2002 fiscal quarter ended March 31 of $2.4 million, or 2 cents per share after restructuring charges, on sales of $434.1 million.
By comparison, the Malvern, PA., component supplier reported a net loss of $53.6 million, or 35 cents per share including restructuring charges, on sales of $381.1 million for the preceding quarter ended December 31, 2001.
Earnings were still off their year-ago levels, when Vishay earned $90.1 million, or 65 cents per share including restructuring charges, on sales of $558.5 million.
The company's book-to-bill ratio for the March 2002 quarter was 1.22 for its discrete semiconductor business and 1.14 overall, the first positive book-to-bill ratio since the third quarter of 2000, according to Dr. Felix Zandman, chairman and chief executive.
"We're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Zandman told analysts during a conference call.
Not surprisingly, discrete semiconductors are leading the recovery, Zandman noted, with gross margins in the quarter of 26% and lead times starting to stretch out on some parts. He added that Vishay is trying to increase production capacity in discrete semiconductors to accommodate improving demand.
In passives, Zandman told analysts that resistor sales and orders have strengthened and prices have stabilized, but capacitor sales remain weak with prices declining about 5% to 10% a quarter. Overall, passive component orders in the March quarter rose 25% sequentially.
Zandman added that Vishay will continue to pursue its acquisition strategy. The company recently agreed to acquire Tedea-Huntleigh BV, a Israel-based load cell manufacturer, for $17 million in a move to enter the load cell market to complement its resistance strain gage business.
For the June quarter, Vishay projects sales to rise 3% to 5% over the March 2002 quarter.
Meanwhile, Vishay subsidiary Siliconix Inc. reported a net income of $8.2 million, or 27 cents per share, on sales of $83.6 million in the first 2002 fiscal quarter ended March 30.
That was lower than the $10.2 million, or 34 cents per share, on sales of $88.1 million in the first quarter of 2001 but up from $649,000, or 2 cents per share, on sales of $76.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Gross margins in the first quarter of 2002 were 29%, down from 32% in the first quarter of 2001 but up from 18% for the fourth quarter of 2001. The company attributed the increase to greater capacity utilization, higher revenues and firming pricing in the current quarter.
The Santa Clara, Calif., semiconductor supplier, an 80% subsidiary of Vishay, reported that its book-to-bill ratio and bookings in absolute dollars improved for the fourth consecutive quarter, noted King Owyang, president and chief executive of Siliconix.
Owyang added that improving demand in several of the company's strategic markets, including notebook computers, cellular phones, game consoles, digital cameras, and other consumer electronics sectors, was prompting the company to increase production capacity.