Applied Materials Sees Sales Increase to $11.6 Billion by 2018

Applied Materials Inc., the biggest maker of equipment used to manufacture semiconductors, predicted it can boost earnings and revenue over the next three years as it takes orders from competitors.

The company forecast a profit of $2 a share, minus certain items, on revenue of $11.6 billion in fiscal year 2018, Chief Financial Officer Bob Halliday said Monday during a company presentation. The prediction assumes total chip industry spending on wafer fabrication equipment, or WFE, will be about $33.5 billion, he said.

Applied’s forecast is used by the hardware industry as an indicator of confidence in future demand. Chipmakers vary their spending based on estimates of the capacity they think they’ll need to meet component orders from electronics manufacturers. Chief Executive Officer Gary Dickerson has predicted his company will increase its share of the market as the process of making chips becomes more difficult and expensive.

On average, analysts estimate Applied will have sales of $9.88 billion this year, $10.42 billion next year and $10.6 billion in fiscal 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Applied’s stock, down 23 percent this year after its attempt to acquire rival Tokyo Electron Ltd. was thwarted by regulators, rose 2.9 percent to $19.31 at the close Monday in New York before the presentation.

In May, Applied said revenue in the three months ending in July would rise 2 percent to 6 percent from the previous period, indicating sales of as much as $2.59 billion.

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