Applied Materials' (AMAT) Q4 (ending on October 31st) outperformed Wall Street's forecast of $0.35 for EPS (earnings per share) of $2.89 billion in sales and $0.31 for EPS at $2.59 billion on Wall Street. Its Q4 sales are 15% higher than Wall Street. Orders for this quarter (Q/Q) increased by 11%. In 2010, sales totaled over 9.55 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 90% compared to 2009, and a profit of 938 million U.S. dollars, equivalent to an EPS of 0.7 U.S. dollars.
Predicted Applied Materials' 2011Q1 will have 8%-15% sales decline between $2.46 billion and $2.63 billion, while Wall Street estimates it to be $2.63 billion, and the EPS is $0.32 in line with Wall Street forecasts.
From the company's data and conference calls, industrial observers came to the following observations:
Orders and unshipped orders (backlogs) are still sufficient, but Q1 may be reduced due to the decline in DRAM investment and the tendency to continue to decline. Fortunately, global OEMs are still rising compared to 2010Q4.
AMAT CEO Mike Splinter insisted that in 2011 the global market for front-end equipment (WFE) may be close to 2010, which is between $29 billion and 30 billion US dollars, or 10%. (CreditSuisse's Satys Kumar pointed out that this is the most optimistic forecast consistent with Wall Street.) The company is tracking 17 fabs globally, and in July, Semicon West said that the biggest opportunity facing the equipment industry in 2011 is the leaps in NAND investment. The OEM investment may be flat or slightly up.
From 2011, WFE is flat and NAND is rising, so DRAM will become the key in the future. According to Splinter, global NAND investment may be better than the first half of the second half. Obviously, smart phones and tablet PCs are the main drivers of NAND investment. Splinter estimates shipments of 5 million and 40 million units respectively. Therefore, the focus of semiconductor equipment in 2011 is on the market demand of DRAM and PC. At the quarterly meeting, Splinter said in answering questions that if WFE can be as good as expected at the beginning of the year, 2011 is still expected to be a good year.
In terms of market share, the company may grow by 2% (about $600 million in sales) in terms of etch, CMP, waferlevel packaging, including an increase of 4% in etch (which was achieved in the previous quarter, and Barclays CJMuse believes that it will lower Some, although in TSMC (CMP, WLP, ECP), Samsung (siliconetch, inspection) and intel (WLP, ECP) â€‹â€‹may be successful. Splinter pointed out that in CMP, the company's market share can still be maintained, and the market share in WLP Basically up to 60%.
The global 200mm equipment is recovering. At present, the global 200mm production capacity has increased, so the proportion of the company in the AGS (service) has thus increased. Applied Materials's CFO George Davis said that although there have been many 200mm declines in production capacity in 2009, there has been some recovery with MEMS, power transistors, analog devices, display drivers, and even applications including photovoltaic panels and electric vehicles. It is expected that the global 200mm demand will reach the peak in 2011, and the subsequent quarter will decline at the rate of 10%-20%.
Photovoltaics are still strong, at least in crystalline silicon cells. Although the prospect of crystalline silicon solar blocks is good, the company's display and energy (EES) business may be weakened. AMAT believes that its EES sales in 2011Q1 (now only c-Si) will slip to the Q4 level. However, it is expected that the installation volume in 2011 will increase by nearly 30% to 21GW. (PeterKim at DeutschBank has warned that there is an excess of PV and the risk of orders falling). AMAT also has a Sunfab production line awaiting divestment, valued at 50M-70M USD, and is discussing upgrades with previous Sunfab customers, but there is no forecast value.
In a teleconference on the appropriate material, the material executive revised a Wall Street analyst opinion, and everyone tried to use the current orders to forecast the 2011 shipments and sales, but now is a new world of change. . Splinter cautioned everyone that the current order of the company's non-delivery is very different from its history. At present, customers will not place orders after 6 months, and some customers will only place orders for the next quarter.
Satya Kumar of Credit Suisses pointed out that AMAT's capacity increase in photovoltaic equipment is mainly in the first half of next year, and it is concentrated in low-cost mainland China and Taiwan. In the middle of 2010, the two regions accounted for 75% and now account for 65% of the global PV production capacity. CreditSuisse added that 85% of the unscheduled orders in the AMAT's EES department are cSi batteries.
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