At last: North American book-to-bill achieves parity, says SEMI

November 30, 2003 – For the first time since August 2002, semiconductor equipment sales and orders reached the parity mark of 1.0 in October, with individual levels clearly showing a growth trend, according to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).

North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $871.1 million in orders in October 2003, according to SEMI. October’s orders, representing the three-month average of worldwide bookings, are up 11.9% from September’s upwardly-revised total of $778.8 million, and 12% above the $775 million posted in October 2002. Bookings have risen for three consecutive months, and are at their highest mark in over a year.

The three-month average of worldwide billings in October was $873.4 million, a 7.7% gain from September’s upwardly-revised level of $811.1 million, and 13% below October 2002 billings of $1.0 billion — but an improvement upon September’s year-on-year slide of 23%. Billings have now increased for four consecutive quarters.

The book-to-bill in October was 1.0, building upon September’s revised figure of 0.96 and 0.92 in August. A book-to-bill of 1.00 means that $100 worth of new orders was received for every $100 of product billed for the month. The October figure also marked the fourth consecutive month of growth.

“The October data is a welcome confirmation of improving industry conditions,” said Stanley Myers, SEMI’s president and CEO. Despite a persistently “challenging” economic environment, Myers believes “there is increasing evidence that a recovery is mounting for the semiconductor equipment market.”


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