FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.--Following months of declining orders and shipments, the semiconductor equipment market turned around in
December, with both billings and bookings bouncing up for the
first time since the spring. But industry officials still offered
a cautious outlook for the months ahead.
The industry trade group SEMI,
in its December Book-to-Bill Report, said semi-gear vendors based
in North America posted $924.1 million in orders worldwide in
December 2012 (on a three-month average basis) and saw a
book-to-bill ratio of 0.92. (A book-to-bill of 0.92 means that $92
worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for
the month). The best book-to-bill month in 2012 was March at 1.12.
The bookings figure is 28.6 percent higher than November's $718.6
million, but is 16.2 percent lower than the December 2011 order
level of $1.10 billion.
The three-month average of worldwide billings in December 2012
was $1.01 billion, SEMI said. The billings figure is 10.6 percent
higher than November's $910.1 million, and is 22.6 percent less
than the December 2011 billings level of $1.30 billion.
Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI, sounded a note of
caution as the industry moves deeper into 2013.
"Both bookings and billings increased in December, but remain
below figures reported one year ago,” McGuirk said. “While
uncertainty remains regarding the 2013 equipment outlook, the
foundry and advanced packaging segments are the key investment
drivers at the beginning of the year.”
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