SEMI: North American tool demand soaring to 2001 levels

July 21, 2006 – North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment continue to see brisk demand for tools this year, tacking on another 5%-7% sequential growth in sales and orders, according to the latest data from SEMI.

The regional toolmakers posted $1.75 billion in orders last month, vs. $1.62 billion in May and $1.04 billion in June 2005, a 68% year-on-year increase — the third straight 60% Y-Y monthly jump — and a new five-year high, topping the previous month. Equipment billings totaled $1.53 billion, up from $1.45 billion in May and $1.15 billion up almost 33% from June 2005. That’s above the peak in mid-2004, and approaches the levels last seen since spring of 2001. Since a flat month-on-month period in November 2005, bookings have spiked roughly 60% in just the past seven months. Semiconductor equipment sales in North America have risen about 30% during the same period.

The book-to-bill ratio (B:B), which compares three-month moving averages of worldwide bookings and billings, rose slightly to 1.14, meaning that $114 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month. The B:B has now been above the parity mark (1.0) for five straight months.

For 2Q06, preliminary data shows orders totaling $4.94 billion, a 27% hike from 1Q06 and 62% higher than 2Q05. Billings in 2Q totaled $4.43 billion, up 14% sequentially and roughly 23% from the same period a year ago.

“It has been encouraging to see this sustained level of growth over the past seven months, and we are confident that 2006 will mark the second biggest growth year for our industry,” stated SEMI president and CEO Stanley Myers.


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