Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Applied Materials projects extended capital investment cycle driven by mobility trends

NEW YORK, USA: Applied Materials, the global leader in manufacturing solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic industries, forecast wafer fabrication equipment spending will exceed $30 billion for a record fourth consecutive year in 2013.

The semiconductor industry to date has not experienced more than two successive years of spending at that level. During the company's annual Investor and Analyst Meeting held today, chairman and chief executive officer Mike Splinter, along with senior leadership, also discussed how growing global demand for mobile devices is driving Applied's semiconductor and display businesses.

"The Age of Mobility is transforming the semiconductor industry as a growing global consumer base demands increasingly sophisticated devices. This trend is accelerating the adoption of smartphones, tablets and mobile PCs and driving our customers to deliver larger, more complex chips at higher unit volumes and on faster production ramps," said Splinter. "As a result, we are seeing sustained capital investment with an expected third, and likely fourth, consecutive year of wafer fabrication equipment spending in excess of $30 billion."

"Applied expects continued strength in our core semiconductor business to result in fiscal year 2012 revenue for the company in the range of $9.1 to $9.5 billion. We expect non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.85 to $0.95, including $0.07 to $0.08 of operating losses from our Energy and Environmental Solutions group," said George Davis, executive VP and CFO. "As a result of the sharp capacity-driven downturn in our solar and display equipment markets, these businesses are focused on reducing costs to improve profitability."

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