NETANYA, Israel Automated optical inspection (AOI) systems maker Camtek Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) should prepare itself to be acquired by one of the larger providers of semiconductor equipment, according to a new research note by the investment house Oppenheimer Israel.
The note analyzes Camtek's positioning following chip tool maker KLA-Tencor Corp's proposed acquisition of Belgian inspection equipment specialist ICOS Vision Systems Corporation NV in a deal valued at $465.8 million..
ICOS (Heverlee, Belgium) is one of Camtek's competitors, alongside Rudolph Tech (Flanders, NJ).
According to the analysts, the consolidation processes which are taking place in the market do not justify the existence of small and independent companies like Camtek and therefore the company's management should draw a new strategy that will maximize the value of the Israeli company in preparation for its future acquisition by a company like Applied Materials (Santa Clara, Calif.) or Orbotech (Yavna, Israel).
Camtek's revenues for 2007 were $71 million, a decrease of 29 percent from $100.1 million reported for 2006. Gross profit margin for 2007 was 40.9 percent, compared to 51.6 percent in 2006. Net loss for 2007 was $7.5 million, compared to a net income of $11.6 million for 2006.
Camtek's AOI systems are used in the production of PCBs, high-density substrates for interconnection of integrated circuit devices, and semiconductor manufacturing and packaging.
The company's customer base includes the majority of the top 100 PCB manufacturers worldwide. It has sold over 100 of its Falcon systems to more than 30 semiconductor manufacturers, test and assembly houses and bumping service providers.