Splinter said Applied expects logic chip makers to increase spending in the first half of 2013 as foundry spending declines. But the outlook for the second half of next year is clouded, he said.
"When we look at wafer fab equipment spending for all of '13, it's a little bit hard to tell right now what the second half will look like," Splinter said. "I really think the big part of that is how the macro environment plays out, economic environment plays out and, more specifically, how well PCs do in that environment because that could stoke spending, both on logic and DRAM for the second half."
Applied (Santa Clara, Calif.) reported sales of $1.65 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter, which closed Oct.28, down 29 percent from the previous quarter and down 24 percent compared with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. The company report a net loss of $515 million, or 42 cents per share, for the quarter, compared to a net income of $322 million in the previous quarter and a net income of $361 million in the year-ago quarter.
For the fiscal year, Applied reported sales of $8.04 billion, down 21 percent from fiscal 2011. The company report a net income of $109 million or 9 cents per share for the year, down from a net income of $1.93 billion or $1.45 per share in fiscal 2011.
Applied said it expects fiscal first quarter sales to be between 1.4 billion and $1.65 billion, flat to down 15 percent sequentially.
"Soft macroeconomic conditions, combined with the timing of Windows 8, resulted in subdued back-to-school PC sales, and we expect negative PC growth for the calendar year," Splinter said. "As a result, we are tempering our expectations for logic spending in 2013. However, the release of new touch-enabled ultrabooks, hence for PC growth, providing a potential upside for both logic and DRAM investment."
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