SAN JOSE, Calif. The chip-equipment market is slowing, based on the results from August, Cabot, KLA-Tencor, Kulicke & Soffa, and MEMC on Thursday (April 28).
On the front-end, metrology-equipment giant KLA-Tencor Corp. said revenues for the quarter were $542 million, up 2 percent from $533 million in the previous quarter and up 39 percent from $390 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2004.
The net income for the quarter was $123 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, compared with net income of $122 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, in the prior quarter and $66 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2004.
On a geographic basis, Japan continued to post strong bookings for KLA-Tencor (San Jose). Japan was 31 percent of orders, higher than its historical average of 20 percent; Taiwan was 27 percent, above its historical average of 20 percent; Korea, China and Singapore combined were 18 percent of orders, below their combined historical average of 20 percent; U.S. was 17 percent of orders, below its historical average of 25 percent; and Europe was 7 percent, lower than its historical average of 15 percent.
Meanwhile, August Technology Corp., a provider of automated inspection and data analysis solutions, reported revenues of $18.4 million during the first quarter ended March 31, an increase of 10 percent from the previous quarter and 12 percent from the first quarter of 2004.
August (Minneapolis) reported a net loss of $898,000, or minus $0.05 per share in the quarter, compared to a profit of $1.4 million, or $0.08 a share, a year ago.
Excluding merger expenses, the company reported pro forma net income of $0.02 per diluted share. As reported, August and Nanometrics Inc. have announced plans to merge. August has also received competitive bids to be acquired by KLA-Tencor Corp. and Rudolph Technologies Inc.
Going forward, August anticipates second-quarter revenues will be relatively flat, ranging from minus 5 percent to plus 5 percent.
August also introduced DMS Decision, its next-generation solution for managing and analyzing all-surface, advanced macro defect data. DMS Decision identifies the sources of yield-killing defects and process excursions, thereby effectively enabling yield-enhancing decisions, according to the company.
Meanwhile, Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. said revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2005 totaled $139.1 million, compared to revenue of $127.3 million for the same period a year ago.
Varian Semiconductor Gloucester, Mass.) recorded net income of $11.1 million, or $0.30 per diluted share during the second quarter of fiscal 2005, compared to net income of $14.0 million, or $0.38 per diluted share for the same period a year ago.
The company expects revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2005 to be between $158 and $168 million. Earnings per share is anticipated to range from $0.45 to $0.53 per diluted share."
On the backend, Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. (Willow Grove, Pa.) said revenue for the second fiscal quarter ended March 31 was $124.8 million compared to $221.8 million in the comparable year-ago quarter. The net loss was $7.7 million, or minus $0.15 per diluted share, versus net income for the year-ago quarter of $29.1 million or $0.44 per diluted share.
Net revenue for the first quarter was $116.3 million. The net loss was $7.2 million, or a loss of $0.14 per diluted share, in the first period.
Included in the expenses for the March 2005 quarter are $2.0 million of costs associated with the severance from several separate actions and the closure of a test facility in Scotland. Also included in the March 2005 quarter is a $378 thousand reversal of gain on the sale of the Willow Grove facility, previously recorded in the first fiscal quarter and recorded as a sale of assets.
Scott Kulicke, chairman and chief executive, painted a mixed picture for the company going forward. "While we see the industry inching upward from a cyclical trough, the rate of improvement isn't sufficient to trigger significant increases in bonder orders yet," he said in a statement.
"Similarly, the ongoing industry-wide semiconductor inventory liquidation that is taking place seems to be holding down both test and materials orders," he said. "Our customers continue to tell us to expect improved business conditions later this year, but for the June quarter, we expect revenues to be in the range of flat to up 10 percent compared to the March quarter."
On the materials side, MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (St. Peters, Mo.) reported net sales of $257.9 for the first quarter of 2005, up 12.7 percent over the like period a year ago but down 3.9 percent sequentially.
The silicon wafer maker reported a net of $77.2 million, or $0.34 per share, in the quarter, compared to $70 million, or $0.32 a share, in the previous period, and $35.9 million, or $0.16 percent, a year ago.
"A slower than anticipated market recovery had an impact on our first quarter results," said Nabeel Gareeb, MEMC's chief executive, in a statement.
"We are beginning to see signs of improving demand and we anticipate the second half of 2005 will provide good momentum for the recovery from this transition period," he said. "Based on some degree of uncertainty during the early part of the second quarter associated with this market inflection point, we are guiding net sales in the second quarter to be up in the 2 percent to 5 percent range sequentially."
Cabot Microelectronics Corp. (Aurora, Ill.), a supplier of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) polishing slurries to the semiconductor industry, said total revenue for the second fiscal quarter was $64.5 million, down 3.8 percent from $67.1 million in the prior quarter and down 12.3 percent from $73.5 million in the second quarter a year ago.
The sequential revenue decrease was primarily due to lower demand for the company's products used in dielectric and tungsten applications, the combined revenue of which declined by 5.2 percent sequentially
Net income for the quarter was $6.1 million, down 38.4 percent from the $9.8 million reported last quarter and down 37.7 percent from $9.7 million in the same quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share were $0.25 this quarter, compared to $0.40 in the previous quarter and $0.39 in the year ago quarter.