Sat, Apr 21, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Semiconductor equipment sector looking up: SEMI

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The book-to-bill ratio for North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment rose to 1.13 last month as growing demand brought equipment orders to their highest level since July last year, according to a statement released by global semiconductor industry association SEMI yesterday.

The book-to-bill ratio has exceeded one, the parity level, for the second straight month, according to SEMI.

A book-to-bill ratio of 1.13 means that US$113 worth of orders were received for every US$100 of product billed last month. The ratio rose to 1.01 in February, the first time the ratio had broken parity since September 2010.

The uptrend indicated a better outlook for the semiconductor equipment industry, after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) said on Tuesday that it plans to increase its capital expenditure this year beyond last year’s record level of US$7.29 billion, SEMI said in the statement.

“Equipment orders continue to increase and have improved to the highest reported value since July 2011,” SEMI president and chief executive officer Denny McGuirk said.

“The semiconductor equipment market outlook has strengthened since the beginning of the year, as reflected in the increasing bookings rate,” he said.

The three-month average of worldwide bookings expanded 10.7 percent to US$1.48 billion last month, from February’s US$1.34 billion, SEMI said. That was down 6.4 percent from US$1.53 billion in March last year.

The three-month average of worldwide billings fell 0.9 percent to US$1.31 billion last month, from US$1.32 billion in February, SEMI said. On an annual basis, billing contracted 20.9 percent from US$1.66 billion.

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