Dutch microchip equipment maker ASML expects rising orders on the heels of rising consumer appetite for smartphones and tablets. The Eindhoven, Netherlands-based company saw its shares climb eight percent on the Amsterdam stock exchange following their revised fourth-quarter estimate that calls for orders north of €2 billion, up from their previous Q4 forecast of €1.3 billion.
ASML on October 13 reported €268.5 million in third-quarter profits on sales of €555 million, a significant increase over just €19.8 million a year earlier. The revised booking forecast does not include any orders related to ASML's pioneering work in Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for which it has "a comprehensive technology and business development program," the company noted in a statement.
ASML is the former Philips joint venture and is billed as the leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, with a 70 percent market share in this high-tech segment.
ASML benefits directly from the consumer shift towards mobile devices. In addition, the rise of solid state memory (SSD) positively impacts the company's fortunes as well because leading SSD vendors use ASML's tools to manufacture their products. In fact, ASML's lithography tools and complex machines are used by leading semiconductor makers such as Intel and Infineon to etch circuitry onto silicon.
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