Local electron beam wafer inspection equipment maker Hermes Microvision Inc (HMI, 漢微科) yesterday said its business would grow stronger next quarter than this quarter, when sales are likely to be affected by new product transition.
The company also expects continued sales growth this year with stable margin and profitability, adding that second-half outlook will be better than in the first half.
The company’s guidance appears in a presentation document released on its Web site yesterday, when it held a quarterly conference for investors.
At the conference, Hermes Microvision chief executive officer Jack Chao (招允佳) said the firm’s second-quarter sales would show a sequential increase of 50 percent from this quarter due to a lower comparison base.
Hermes Microvision started shipments of its new eScan 500-series equipment late last year, with management expecting significant sales contribution from next quarter.
For this year, the firm said demand would remain strong as top semiconductor companies would compete with each other to lead the market through the use of advanced process technology, according to its presentation document.
As a result, the firm’s full-year sales are to grow by between 25 percent and 30 percent from last year, when sales expanded 27.75 percent to NT$5.34 billion (US$175.6 million), Chao said.
In addition, the company aims to keep its margins for this year at the same levels recorded last year, with gross margin set to remain at 70 percent and operating margin at 45 percent.
Hermes Microvision’s board yesterday also approved a proposal to distribute a NT$16 cash dividend per share based on last year’s earnings, which were 54.4 percent higher than the previous year’s earnings.
“The year 2013 was another record-breaking year for HMI in terms of revenue, shipments and earnings,” the company said in the presentation document.
The proposed cash dividend, if approved by shareholders on June 6 this year, will be one-third higher than the NT$12 it paid out the previous year.
With the company’s share price closing at NT$1,080 yesterday, its proposed cash dividend of NT$16 translates into a dividend yield of 1.48 percent, which is slightly higher than the previous year’s 1.44 percent yield when its share price averaged NT$833.2.
The Hsinchu-based company has a more than 85 percent share of the global e-beam inspection (EBI) tools market, which is used by semiconductor companies to detect physical defects in wafers better than optical surface scanners.
Last year, the company saw its net income increase to a record level of NT$2.35 billion from NT$1.52 billion in 2012.
The company’s earnings per share were NT$35.09 last year, up from NT$23.34 the previous year, while revenue rose to NT$5.34 billion from NT$4.18 billion a year ago, according to the company’s financial statements.