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Citigroup Ups Chip-Equipment Makers to 'Overweight'

Citigroup upgraded the semiconductor-equipment sector to overweight from market weight.

Analyst Glen Yeung says he raised the sector rating on chip-equipment makers as recent evidence is looming that indicates the acceleration of industry fundamentals. He notes evidence is set against an improvement in semiconductor supply/demand balance, amid the backdrop of improving economic conditions. He's increasing the industry forcast for revenue growth from 16% to 26% in 2004 through 2005, to 20% to 30% growth.

Yeung says the revised forecast has led him to revise estimates for companies under his coverage. His favorites remain Applied Materials (AMAT), Axcelis Technologies (ACLS), Lam Research (LRCX), and Novellus (NVLS). Yeung also upgraded ATMI (ATMI) and Credence Systems (CMOS).

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