SEMI to Wall Street naysayers: Equipment growth’s not done yet

June 20, 2004 – Wagging its finger at Wall Street, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) says growth marches on in the semiconductor equipment sector, and SEMI is presenting data to prove it.

North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.61 billion in orders in June 2004 (a three-month moving average), according to SEMI. That’s a 3% climb from May’s bookings of $1.56 billion, and more than double the $722.3 million posted in June 2003. For the first half of 2004, bookings were $8.67 billion, up 67% from 2H03 and 94% from 1H03. Bookings have increased year-on-year for nine consecutive months.

Worldwide billings were 1.48 billion, up 4.9% from May’s revised figures, and a 91% increase from a year ago. Billings have steadily increased month-on-month for 12 consecutive months, with seven consecutive months of year-on-year growth. Through June, billings for 2004 were $7.73 billion, up 52% from 2H03 and 60% from the first half of 2003.

The book-to-bill ratio in June was 1.08, compared with 1.10 in May and 0.93 a year ago. A B:B of 1.08 means that $108 worth of new orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month. The B:B has declined five out of six months, but it’s still the ninth consecutive month above parity.

“Despite the premature negative commentary by some Wall Street analysts, the semiconductor equipment industry continues to maintain growth at high levels,” said SEMI president and CEO Stanley Myers. (Merrill Lynch caused a stir during SEMI West when it downgraded its outlook for the chip equipment sector — see last week’s WaferNews, V11n29, July 19, 2004.)


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