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Logical Bets for the Chip Market

Q: What's your opinion of KLA-Tencor (KLAC )?

A: KLA is a leader in equipment for defect detection and for improving manufacturing yields. It's a well-managed, profitable company. We think KLA is well-positioned to benefit when the next upturn comes. The company has guided for flat orders and slightly lower revenues in the current quarter.

Q: Do you have an opinion on Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM )?

A: As you know, TSM is the largest -- and one of the most successful -- foundries in the world. We don't follow the company that closely, except to see how it influences business of fab-less companies that we're interested in. We're also interested in how their capacity-expansion plans affect the equipment industry.

Q: What, in your view, are the up-and-comers in semiconductor capital equipment?

A: I can make a few general comments about the equipment industry. While chip companie

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