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ASML: Q2 profits up, outlook worsening

ASML: Q2 profits up, outlook worsening

ASML Holding NV, Europe's largest computer chip equipment supplier, said Wednesday profits rose in the second quarter and it expects to meet its full-year sales target. However, the supplier to Intel, Samsung and TSMC says its customers are starting to hold off on new orders due to uncertainties over the economy, as well as demand for new mobile phones and personal computers.
ASML said net profit was (EURO)432 million ($606 million), up from (EURO)239 million in the same period a year ago. Sales rose 43 percent to (EURO)1.53 billion. Chief Executive Eric Meurice repeated that the company's full year sales will pass (EURO)5 billion for the first time, but noted there are signs customers' appetite is waning.
Second quarter orders were "lower than expected at (EURO)840 million for standard systems," Meurice said in a statement.
"Our customers are currently taking some time to assess the semiconductor end-demand trends for 2012 before determining their overall capacity plans levels and timings."
Analysts have recently been cutting forecasts for mobile phone and personal computer sales in 2012, likely the top consideration for Intel and other ASML customers.
Meurice said third quarter orders will likely be around (EURO)500 million, with sales at (EURO)1.4 billion.
Shares fell 6.7 percent to (EURO)23.985 in early trading in Amsterdam.
ASML is the biggest maker of "lithography systems" _ machines that cost (EURO)20 million or more apiece and are used by chipmakers to map out the circuitry of semiconductors using intensely focused light beams. Its main competitor is Japan's Nikon.
SNS Securities analyst Victor Bareno, who recently upgraded his rating on ASML shares to "Buy," said the company's outlook was "particularly weak" but not unexpected.
"It is clear the industry is heading for a slowdown, which we already included in our estimates," he said in a note on the earnings. "While this reflects the current economic uncertainty, it does not necessarily point to a recession in 2012."
He said "this is actually the time to buy ASML" _ based on SNS's assumption that a recession is not beginning and that ASML's shares have in the past bottomed at the same time bookings begin to decline.
ASML said separately Wednesday it expects to extend Meurice's contract through March 2014.


Updated : 2021-05-10 15:07 GMT+08:00