| SAN FRANCISCO, April 19
SAN FRANCISCO, April 19 Shares of semiconductor
equipment suppliers surged on Wednesday after quarterly earnings
reports from Lam Research and ASML Holding
suggested a recent wave of spending by chipmakers was far from
Lam Research jumped 6.58 percent to a record of $135.81
after its quarterly results and outlook late on Tuesday blew
past Wall Street's expectations.
KLA-Tencor rose 2.09 percent, Applied Materials
added 3.81 percent and Teradyne climbed 2.14
Growing demand for semiconductors for smartphones, cars and
home devices has been fueling capital investment in new
manufacturing technology, propelling a rally over the past year
in semiconductor equipment stocks.
A major boost comes from memory chipmakers including Micron
Technology, Samsung Electronics and Toshiba
transitioning to 3D NAND, a new kind of flash memory
"Business remains exceptional," Morgan Stanley analyst
Joseph Moore wrote following Lam Research's report. "We could
see upward revisions to spending throughout the year, and we
expect memory to remain strong."
Dutch lithography equipment maker ASML on Wednesday said its
first-quarter net income doubled and that demand looked healthy
for the rest of 2017. However, its U.S.-traded stock fell 1.85
percent after ASML said its gross margin would dip due to shifts
in product mixes.
At least six analysts raised their price targets for Lam
Research following its report. Eighteen analysts recommend
buying Lam Research, while none recommend selling and two have
"hold" ratings, according to Thomson Reuters data.
A plan by Lam Research to buy KLA-Tencor was called off last
year due to antitrust concerns. Under that deal, Lam Research
would have paid $67.02 per share for KLA-Tencor, far below
Wednesday's share price of $96.58.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)