February 25, 2004 – Semiconductor equipment orders and sales continued to show strength in January 2004, with both topping $1 billion for the first time in nearly three years, according to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).
North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment reported $1.22 billion in orders and $1.04 billion in billings in January 2004, compared with December 2003 levels of $1.18 billion and $962.9 million — both of which were upwardly revised from earlier estimates — and up 66% and 33% respectively from a year ago. The bookings and billings, representing a three-month average, have risen for six consecutive months.
The book-to-bill in January slipped to 1.18 compared with 1.20 in December, but was up from 1.04 in November and 0.94 a year ago. A book-to-bill of 1.18 means that $118 worth of new orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month. It’s the fourth consecutive month above parity, and the fifth consecutive month of year-on-year B:B growth.
SEMI president and CEO Stanley Myers highlighted the significant improvement in new equipment orders compared with a year ago, and predicted a continued broad-based industry recovery due to projections of strong capital spending throughout the year.