SAN FRANCISCO—Semiconductor capital equipment vendor Applied Materials Inc. Thursday (May 17) reported sales that beat consensus analysts' expectations for its fiscal second quarter, but said it expects sales for the current quarter to be flat to down 10 percent sequentially.
Applied (Santa Clara, Calif.) reported sales of $2.54 billion for the quarter ended April 29, up 16 percent from the previous quarter and down 11 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. The company reported a net income of $289 million for the quarter, up from $117 million in the previous quarter but down from $489 million in the year-ago quarter. On a pro forma basis, excluding charges, Applied reported a net income of $349 million, or 27 cents per share, up 45 percent from the previous quarter and down 30 percent from the year-ago quarter.
Applied's sales for the quarter exceeded consensus analysts' estimates of $2.4 billion, according to Yahoo Finance. Pro forma earnings fell short of consensus analysts' estimates of 37 cents per share, according to Yahoo Finance.
"Our strong performance in the quarter was driven by growing global demand for mobile products such as smartphones and tablets," said Mike Splinter, Applied's chairman and CEO, in statement.
Applied said orders for its Silicon Systems Group increased to $1.97 billion in the quarter, up 39 percent from the previous quarter, led by increased demand from foundry customers. Net sales for the division were $1.78 billion, up 32 percent from the previous quarter, Applied said.
Quarterly sales for Applied's solar division fell to $79 million, down 62 percent from the previous quarter, reflecting excess manufacturing capacity in the solar industry, the company said. Last week, Applied announced it would cut about 250 jobs from its solar group and move manufacturing of some of its systems to Asia from Switzerland.
For the current quarter, Applied said it expects sales to be between $2.29 billion and $2.54 billion, flat to down 10 percent sequentially. The company said it now expects sales for the year to be at the high end of the range of $9.1 billion and $9.5 billion.
It is possible they are hedging that Euro crises and the general reversal in the economy will affect sales. Or they just want to reduce the expectation level so low that they can beat estimates next quarter. This is a skilled game. Applied is doing well, though it is not clear how they can compete if Chinese firms continue to gain grounds in emerging markets.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.