The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Applied’s results; Huawei takes hit; iPhone X woes.


Fab tools and test
Applied Materials reported record revenue and operating profit in its first quarter ended Jan. 28. Compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2017, Applied grew net sales by 28% to $4.20 billion. In the second quarter of fiscal 2018, Applied expects net sales to be in the range of $4.35 billion to $4.55 billion.

“AMAT posted F1Q results above guidance as NAND demand, in particular, continued to drive near-term strength. F2Q guidance was well ahead of our estimates and consensus,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note. “While we expect demand to decelerate in 2018, AMAT continues to surprise to the upside, and it indicated that all three divisions (semiconductor equipment, services, and display) should grow double digits in 2018; it anticipates growth from DRAM and logic customers, and it reiterated its expectation to grow display revenue over 30% this year. AMAT also hinted at growth in 2019, indicating that equipment demand could be $100B combined in 2018-2019 (and we expect 2018 demand to be $47B, though it may be tracking higher at this point).”

Starting in 2007, Ethisphere has honored the World’s Most Ethical Companies. In 2018, 135 companies are being honored from 23 countries and 57 industries. Applied Materials has made the list.

SEMI has announced the appointment of Joseph Stockunas, corporate vice president for electronics systems at Nordson, to the SEMI Foundation Board of Trustees. In addition, SEMI has announced the appointment of Frank Shemansky as executive director and chief technology officer of the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG).

Market research
During testimony at the U.S. Senate, the top U.S. intelligence chiefs warned Americans from buying and using products from Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, according to multiple reports. “We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” FBI Director Chris Wray testified as reported by CNBC. “That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

According to Strategy Analytics, global smartphone revenues hit an all-time high of $120 billion during the fourth quarter of 2017. Apple captured a record 51% global smartphone revenue share, accounting for more than the rest of the entire industry combined, according to the firm.

Is the iPhone X a bust? The inventories for Apple’s iPhone X continue to pile up. “Despite all four carriers bringing back generous promotions, offering a buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) promotion, we still observed a significant increase in store inventories m/m,” said John Vinh, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note. “With iPhone X supply normalizing and generous carrier promotions, such as AT&T now extending its BOGO promotions to the iPhone X, providing now up $1,000 credit toward the purchase of a second iPhone vs. $700 previously, our surveys indicate sell-through of the iPhone X continues to disappoint, falling well short of expectations. iPhone X inventories have spiked from just under 2 DOI to almost 6 DOI in January. On an absolute basis, we observed iPhone X inventories more than doubling m/m, well in excess of levels observed last year, while sell-through has declined m/m. Store managers cite price points and a new interface (Face ID) as common reasons why sell-through has been disappointing. Accordingly, we are also seeing seasonal increases in iPhone 8 inventories, albeit more moderate than the iPhone X.”

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