Taking stock of the industry’s top performers

A belated kudos to six of our WaferNEWS Fab 50 index companies, who stretched beyond most in a solid year to achieve >50% in their stock prices over the 12-month period ending Jan.3: AXT, Ultra Clean, Mentor Graphics, MEMC, Advanced Energy, and FormFactor (special recognition to AXT, which more than doubled its stock [126%] year-on-year). And another seven firms also managed to outpace the total ~24.9% growth for the entire WaferNEWS equipment/materials companies: Varian Semi. Equip. Assoc. (47.1%), Novellus Systems Inc. (39.6%), Lam Research Corp. (34.81%), Synopsys Inc (29.47%), FEI Co. (29.46%), Aehr Test Systems (25.6%), and BE Semiconductor Industries NV (25.52%).

And while we’re at it, congrats to ALL of our WaferNEWS Fab 50 companies, who collectively smashed the performance of all the other markets, including the peer Philadelphia SOX.

The relationship between market performance and stock market ups/downs isn’t an exact science, and investors are notoriously jumpy on daily news and rumors (and note that M&A activity has slightly altered the Fab 50 landscape). Nonetheless, stock growth is largely a reward for profitability and performance — and a leading indicator of perceived success to come. So congrats to the cream of the crop.


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