Thu, Oct 13, 2011 - Page 10 News List

ASML and Infosys post rising profits, but outlook mixed

AP and AFP, AMSTERDAM and BANGALORE, India

ASML Holding NV, Europe’s largest maker of computer-chip manufacturing equipment, yesterday reported a 30 percent rise in third-quarter earnings and said it expects an increase in new orders next quarter.

However, the Veldhoven, Netherlands-based technology company stopped short of predicting that trend would continue next year, as it is being driven not by consumer demand for computer chips, but by its own customers upgrading their fabrication plants. ASML’s customers include Intel and Samsung.

ASML reported net profit was 350 million euros (US$476 million), up from 269 million euros in the same period a year ago. Revenues rose 23 percent to 1.46 billion euros.

The company repeated it expects record sales of 5.5 billion euros this year. It forecast its order book would increase an unspecified amount in the fourth quarter from the third quarter level of 514 million euros.

Analyst Victor Bareno of SNS Securities said the results were better than expected.

“There should be no doubt that the semiconductor industry is currently going through one of its worst corrections, but ASML has fully delivered” on its reputation as a company that can thrive even in hard times, he said in a note on the earnings.

Meanwhile, Indian software giant Infosys yesterday announced its second-quarter profit rose 9.7 percent, matching forecasts, as outsourcing orders rose and a weak rupee boosted margins.

Consolidated net profit for the three months to September rose to 19.06 billion rupees (US$388 million) from 17.37 billion rupees a year earlier, the Bangalore-based firm said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Revenues were up 16.5 percent at 81 billion rupees, it said, sending the firm’s shares more than 5 percent higher in early trade.

However, the company’s head warned that the overall global economic environment remained uncertain, and that it would present challenges for the information technology sector.

“It should be a concern for the IT industry,” chief executive and managing director S.D. Shibulal said in a statement. “In this scenario, clients are looking for new opportunities for growth, accelerated innovation and increased returns on investments.”

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