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UPDATE 2-Memory chip demand drives Applied Materials' revenue beat
May 15, 2015 / 12:03 AM / in 2 years

UPDATE 2-Memory chip demand drives Applied Materials' revenue beat

(Adds CEO, analyst comments)

By Sai Sachin R and Anya George Tharakan

May 14 (Reuters) - Applied Materials Inc, the No. 1 maker of machinery used to make semiconductor chips, posted quarterly profit and revenue above market estimates, largely driven by demand from makers of memory chips.

Shares of the company, whose customers include Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, rose as much as 3.8 percent in after-market trading on Thursday.

"The first half of the year for us is more weighted towards memory. ... Mobile DRAM is really the driver there," Chief Executive Gary Dickerson said in an interview, referring to chips mainly used in personal computers and smartphones.

Chipmakers face growing demand for chips used in smartphones and wearable devices, spurring higher spending on chip equipment, research firm Trefis said.

Spending on chip-making gear would rise 5.6 percent this year, market research firm Gartner forecast in January. (gtnr.it/1DWPlqo)

D.A. Davidson & Co analyst Thomas Diffely said Applied Materials performed better than many investors had feared after the company's $10 billion takeover bid for rival Tokyo Electron Ltd fell through last month, noting that it was a "very stable" quarter.

Revenue in the company's applied global services business jumped 21 percent to $646 million in the second quarter ended April 26. The business manufactures spares and remade equipment and provides consulting services to help chipmakers improve operating efficiency and reduce costs.

New orders in the company's silicon systems group, Applied Materials' biggest business, rose 2.4 percent to $1.7 billion.

Applied Materials, which also provides equipment to make flat panel displays and solar cells, estimated a 2 to 6 percent rise in current quarter revenue over the prior quarter. That would translate to a total of $2.49 billion to $2.59 billion.

The company also estimated an adjusted profit of 31 to 35 cents per share for the third quarter.

Analysts on average are expecting current-quarter revenue of $2.52 billion and profit of 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's net income rose 38.9 percent to $364 million in the second quarter.

Excluding items, it earned 29 cents per shares, beating the average analyst estimate of 28 cents.

Revenue rose to $2.44 billion from $2.35 billion, ahead of the $2.40 billion analysts expected.

Shares of Santa Clara, California-based Applied Materials' closed at $19.86 on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan and Sai Sachin R in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Richard Chang)

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