ASML 1Q earnings fall 24 percent

AP News
Posted: Apr 18, 2012 2:38 AM
ASML 1Q earnings fall 24 percent

ASML Holding NV, the largest supplier of manufacturing equipment to computer chip makers, reported Wednesday a 24 percent fall in earnings for the first quarter, as its backlog of orders from big clients such as Intel and Samsung tapered off.

Net profit was (EURO)317 million ($416 million), from (EURO)345 million in the same period a year ago, ASML said Wednesday. Revenues fell 14 percent to (EURO)1.45 billion. The sales and margins were slightly above where ASML itself had forecast they would be in February, and the company said it expects sales to remain flat for the coming two quarters.

CEO Eric Meurice said foundries _ plants like Taiwan Semiconductor that make chips to order _ as well as integrated device makers such as Apple and Samsung, were its main sources of demand in the quarter.

Veldhoven, Netherlands-based ASML makes machines that map out the circuitry of semiconductor chips. It is larger by sales, earnings and market capitalization than Santa Clara, California based Applied Materials Inc., though its biggest competitor in its main "Lithography System" line is Japan's Nikon.