Sat, Nov 22, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Semiconductor book-to-bill ratio falls

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The book-to-bill ratio for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers, such as Applied Materials Inc, fell to 0.93, the lowest level in 22 months, as ordering sagged, industry association SEMI said yesterday. It is the second month in a row that the book-to-bill ratio has been below one.

The three-month average of worldwide bookings declined 7 percent to US$1.1 billion last month, from September’s US$1.19 billion, according to SEMI’s data. The three-month average of worldwide billings shrank 5.8 percent to US$1.18 billion last month from US$1.26 billion in the prior month.

That brought the book-to-bill ratio to 0.93 last month, down from 0.94 in September, SEMI’s statistics showed. Last month’s figure was the lowest since December 2012, when the book-to-bill ratio stood at 0.92.

A ratio of 0.93 means that US$93 worth of orders were received for every US$100 of product billed during the month. The ratio is used as an indicator of the outlook for the semiconductor industry, with a ratio of above one implying a more optimistic outlook, while a ratio of less than one shows weakness.

“While the global semiconductor equipment industry will see strong double-digit growth this year and is slated for further growth in 2015, order activity posted by North American suppliers has moderated, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio below parity for two consecutive months,” SEMI chief executive officer Denny McGuirk said.

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