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Applied Materials forecast beats estimate as demand for chipmaking tools surges | Reuters

Applied Materials Inc on Thursday forecast second-quarter revenue above market expectations, as demand for its semiconductor manufacturing tools picked up during a global shortage of semiconductors.

The chip-gear maker is beginning to benefit from the coronavirus-induced surge in the sales of PCs, gaming consoles and other devices used to work and play from home.

The company expects fiscal second-quarter revenue of $5.39 billion, plus or minus $200 million, which would exceed above analysts’ expectations of $4.96 billion. The forecast calls for adjusted profits to be $1.44 to $1.56 per share, above estimates of $1.28.

Shares were up 1.8% in extended trading after the results.

“We’ve seen a continued acceleration of demand in our semiconductor business as major macro and industry trends fuel increasing consumption of silicon across a wide range of markets and applications,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Dickerson said in a release.

The semiconductor industry has suffered a global supply shortage that disrupted production at many automotive factories and limited revenue growth at chip designers such as Qualcomm Inc and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. American lawmakers have passed a program that, if funded, could provide a boost to chip toolmakers such as Applied by subsidizing the construction of new chip factories.

For the fiscal first quarter ended Jan. 31, Applied’s quarterly net sales rose 24% to $5.16 billion, above analysts’ average estimate of $4.97 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Excluding items, the company earned $1.39 per share in the fiscal first quarter, above Wall Street’s estimates of $1.28, according to Refinitiv data. Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Maju Samuel and David Gregorio

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