BE Semiconductor Advances After Sales Forecast: Amsterdam Mover

BE Semiconductor Industries NV rose the most in almost four months after the Dutch maker of chip-production equipment forecast that first-quarter sales will climb by about 5 percent from the previous three months.

The shares rose as much as 3.3 percent to 6.05 euros in Amsterdam, the biggest intraday advance since Nov. 19. The stock was up 19.1 cents at 6.049 euros at 12:13 p.m., giving the company a market value of 242.2 million euros ($316 million). The volume of shares traded was about five times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company makes machines that manufacture semiconductor packages for tablet computer and smartphone producers such as Samsung Electronics Co. Fourth-quarter orders increased 6.8 percent from the previous three months and there was a continued modest order improvement through February, the Duiven, Netherlands-based company said.

“Given the high orders during the last quarter it seems that BESI has reached the trough,” said Edwin de Jong, an analyst at SNS Securities with a buy recommendation on the shares.

While fourth-quarter revenue dropped 24.5 percent from the previous three months to 56.3 million euros, that beat the company’s October forecast for a decline of 25 percent to 35 percent.

“What we’re seeing is a lot of movement from the second-tier producers of mobile Internet devices in China and Taiwan, that’s definitely a positive development,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Blickman said by phone. “It is the reason we’re cautiously optimistic in our outlook.”

The company proposed a cash dividend of 30 cents per share, of which 8 cents would represent a special dividend, as the net cash position exceeded 100 million euros, Blickman said. Last year the company paid a dividend of 22 cents.

“This is also to show that we will be able to grow toward that level,” Blickman said.

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