ASML Raises 2013 Sales Forecast as Profit Beats Estimates

ASML Holding NV, Europe’s largest semiconductor-equipment supplier, raised its full-year sales target as increased spending by memory-chip producers helped second-quarter profit beat analyst estimates.

Revenue this year, excluding the acquisition of light-source manufacturer Cymer Inc., will probably rise 5.7 percent to 5 billion euros ($6.6 billion), Veldhoven, Netherlands-based ASML said today in a statement. That compares with a forecast reiterated in April that sales would match the 4.73 billion euros posted in 2012.

Micron Technology Inc., one of ASML’s main memory customers, reported its first quarterly profit since 2011 last month as the U.S. maker of dynamic random access memory and Nand flash memory chips benefited from industry price increases. In April, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract maker of chips, forecast record quarterly sales and raised its spending plan amid rising smartphone demand.

ASLM’s sales-forecast increase “is largely driven by the fact that our memory customers, especially our DRAM customers, are coming back,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said today in an online video statement.

Earlier Forecast

Second-quarter net income, excluding Cymer, climbed to 239 million euros from 96 million euros in the previous three months, exceeding the 207 million-euros average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales increased to 1.16 billion euros from 892 million euros in the first quarter, the company said. In April, ASML forecast second-quarter sales of about 1.1 billion euros.

ASML climbed as much as 2 percent to 67.79 euros and was trading up 1.1 percent at 67.21 euros as of 9:56 a.m. in Amsterdam, headed for the highest level since the company’s March 1995 initial public offering, based on closing prices. ASML was the best-performing stock on the 18-company Euro Stoxx Technology Index today.

“The increase in sales target is positive and they may still have room to boost it up to 5.2 billion euros,” Lee Simpson, a London-based analyst at Jefferies LLC, said by phone today. “What also catches the eye is that the order book is quite strong. The second half of the year will probably be solid, and this buildup should continue into the first half of 2014.”

Cymer Acquisition

The Dutch company completed the 1.95 billion-euro purchase of San Diego-based Cymer in May, its biggest deal ever, to expand in extreme ultraviolet lithography technology, or EUV.

ASML forecast today that third-quarter net sales will total about 1.3 billion euros, including Cymer. Second-quarter orders climbed from the previous three months to 1.07 billion euros from 715 million euros, the company said. That compares with analyst estimates of 1.04 billion euros at Kepler Cheuvreux and 1.2 billion euros at Exane BNP Paribas.

ASML named Wennink as CEO in April, shifting him from the finance director position, and said it plans to return cash to shareholders as it repurchases as much as 1 billion euros of stock. Eric Meurice, whose contract as CEO was set to end next year, gave up that job July 1 and became chairman.

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