Friday, March 6, 2015

ASM International benefited from strong growth in ALD market in 2014

Intersting facts and statements from the most successful ALD supplier ASM International N.V. (ASMI) CEO Chuck del Prado on Q4 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript from Seeking Alpha:

Chuck del Prado - ASM International President and CEOLooking back to the year as a whole 2014 was an important and successful year for ASMI. We delivered record revenue and results for our long-term business. Our combined ALD and (NYSE:PE)ALD business had a great year as we further expanded the base of high volume manufacturing customers.

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  • the key driver was again our combined ALD and (PE)ALD visage. By market segment fourth quarter revenue was led by memory customers followed by the logic and foundry segments. The gross margin remained at the strong level of 43% in the fourth quarter, stable compared to the third quarter and up from 39% level in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Orders were primarily driven by our combined (PE)ALD and ALD business. In terms of customer segments bookings were led by the memory segment both DRAM and NAND Flash followed by logic
  • As a market leader, we benefited from strong growth in ALD market in 2014. Following growth in customer deployment and the development of new applications over the last years, ALD has turned into a key growth driver for our company.
  • Our ALD and (PE)ALD product lines accounted for more than half of our total equipment revenue in 2014. ALD is now firmly established as a key enabling technology, some of our leading customers have already ramped multiple technology generations based on our ALD equipment.
  • In the more recent years, we have successfully penetrated additional customers. In 2014, we have seen some of these new customers deploying our ALD and (PE)ALD systems for the first time in substantial volumes. 
  • Over time, we have also achieved some more robust and balanced customer mix on the back of success in ALD. Apart from expanding our presence in the logic foundry segment, we also have built as you know strong customer relationships in the memory sector. Our (PE)ALD equipments is an enabling technology for [space defined double patterning] and used by virtually all of the leading memory customers.
  • Building out our leadership in ALD is a key element in our growth strategy. We continue to invest significant resources in further strengthening the competitiveness of our platforms and on the development of new ALD and (PE)ALD applications that will support our customers in transitioning to the next technology node. 
  • Growth prospects for the ALD market remain strong. For many authorization in 3D device architecture such as FinFET and new and more complex material integration schemes increase the needs for more precise film deposition which in turn will continue driving the demand for ALD at the most advanced technology nodes.

  • As the market leader with more than 15 years of developing this technology and with the broadest offering of ALD and (PE)ALD solutions, we believe we are well positioned to benefit from further growth, so looking at the market environment as a whole, following a drop in 2013 wafer fab equipment spending rebounded strongly year-over-year in 2014 by approximately 15%. The second half of last year was not a strong as the first half of the year as some customers absorbed the investments they made in earlier periods actually in that applies to logic and foundry. 
  • Overall growth in wafer fab equipment spending in 2014 was for a large part driven by strong increases in the memory sector. VLSI and Gartner expect another positive year for our industry in 2015 with the further mid-single-digit increase year-over-year. In the logic foundry sector, wafer fab equipment spending is expected to be driven by investments in the 16-nanometer and 14-nanometer nodes and to a lesser extent in initial spending in the 10-nanometer node, although the exact timing of these investments is still uncertain.