SAN FRANCISCO—Semiconductor capital equipment vendor KLA-Tencor Corp. Thursday (Jan. 26) posted declines in sales and profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31, but reported a significant increase in order bookings driven mostly by foundry and logic customers.
"The big story for December was the sharp increase in quarterly bookings driven by a resurgence in equipment spending among foundry and logic customers, the relative strength of process control as a percentage of the overall equipment investment and customer acceptance of our latest generation products," said Rick Wallace, KLA-Tencor's president and CEO.
KLA said gross bookings in the quarter were $950 million, a 95 percent increase over the previous quarter and the second highest quarterly bookings total in company history.
Wallace said 57 percent of the new orders in the quarter came from foundry vendors focused on ramping 28-nm production and increasing capacity at the 32-nm node. Logic chip vendors accounted for 27 percent of the orders, with the majority of logic demand coming from an unnamed chip vendor looking to increase its leading-edge logic capability, Wallace said. Memory chip vendors accounted for 16 percent of the new orders, Wallace said.
Wallace said demand in the current quarter is shaping up to be similar to what it was last quarter, with investments focused on leading edge technology development and concentrated primarily among foundry and logic customers. The company expects gross bookings for the current quarter to be between $825 million and $975 million, Wallace said.
"We view KLAC's stellar Dec Q/March Q order trajectory as clear evidence of the process-control-heavy investment in leading edge foundry/logic capacity, as well as the company's strong execution on supporting and expanding market share," said C.J. Muse, an analyst at Barclays Capital, in a report circulated Friday.
But Muse said he expects KLA's orders to peak in the current quarter. Barclays estimates that total wafer equipment spending will be about $30 million, of which 14 to 15 percent is expected to go to process control tools like those KLA sells.
KLA (Milpitas, Calif.) reported sales of $642 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, down 19 percent from the previous quarter and down 16 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. The company reported a net income in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles of $111 million, or 66 cents per share, down 42 percent from the previous quarter and down 40 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.
KLA said it expects sales for the current quarter to increase to between $770 million and $830 million.
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