Applied Materials: plans for growth presented during analyst meeting

Nanomanufacturing TechnologyTM solutions leader for the semiconductor, flat panel display and photovoltaic (PV) solar industries, Applied Materials, Inc., held an analyst meeting on 30 March 2010 to o…

Nanomanufacturing TechnologyTM solutions leader for the semiconductor, flat panel display and photovoltaic (PV) solar industries, Applied Materials, Inc., held an analyst meeting on 30 March 2010 to outline its plans for revenue growth and profitability for the next few years. Applied is recording growth in demand in a number of its businesses, and now expects fiscal 2010 net sales to be more than 60% higher than in fiscal 2009 – compared to its forecast of an increase of more than 50%. Applied Materials has engineered a solid operating model for the future, backed by innovative technologies and the strength of our most profitable businesses, said Mike Splinter, chairman and chief executive officer. Our momentum is strong, and we believe we are in the early stages of a multi-year growth cycle in many of our served markets. Applied will take advantage of opportunities arising from key market trends, including accelerating demand for consumer electronics in emerging markets worldwide, for increased semiconductor functionality and pervasiveness, and for cost-effective, renewable energy solutions. Applied“s CFO George Davis, discussed how the company has increased the efficiency of its businesses, also creating new opportunities to increase its market. We are focused on helping our customers increase production as their end markets recover and on expanding our operations in Asia to serve our customers more effectively and efficiently. Business in each of our segments is improving, generating the earnings and cash flow necessary to fund our growth opportunities and reward our stockholders over the long term. Dr. Randhir Thakur, general manager of the Silicon Systems Group, highlighted Applied“s progress in delivering products for next chip generations during a multi-year semiconductor growth cycle. We will gain market share for the second consecutive year – most notably in our inspection and etch businesses. Our focus continues to be on our customers – collaborating closely with them to deliver innovative new technologies across our product lines to meet their current and future needs. We have launched six new products in the past six months and plan to accelerate this product introduction strategy throughout 2010. Our acquisition of Semitool last December gives us the leadership position in advanced packaging – a market that is expected to grow to nearly USD 1 billion over the next several years. At the same time, by driving efficiencies in the way we develop and deliver our products around the world, we are on track to deliver as much as 10 additional points of profit margin to the company“s bottom line. Charlie Pappis, general manager of Applied Global Services, which generated positive cash flow during 2009 – one of the most difficult years for the semiconductor industry – said: Asia holds the greatest opportunity for growth. We are developing closer customer ties in this region, both on an operational and a relationship basis, and expect about 10% growth in the next several years. Applied“s LCD flat panel display equipment business is picking up again, mainly caused by growth in consumer demand in emerging markets, especially in China, which saw an increase of 100% in flat panel TV sales in 2009. Jim Scholhamer, general manager of the Display Group, said: Applied is also prepared to serve customers as they transition to the display market“s most advanced Generation 10 and above technology – which will enable even larger LCD TV screens. In addition, we are well-positioned with our innovative product line to take advantage of the increasing demand for the latest touch screen, advanced LCD TV technologies and e-reader applications. Strategies and opportunities for Applied“s Energy and Environmental Solutions (EES) segment were discussed by Dr. Mark Pinto, chief technology officer and general manager of the Energy and Display Systems Group: This business has enormous potential for growth, and we are capitalizing on Applied“s core strengths in technology and manufacturing innovation to take advantage of these opportunities. We rapidly became the top supplier of PV solar equipment in 2008, and the EES segment achieved USD 1.15 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2009. We have developed new products and applications to expand our market share in crystalline silicon, and have made excellent progress with our thin film customers in establishing the technology and installation advantages of the SunFab line for lowering the cost of electricity. We expect 2010 to be another growth year due to our strong position in the rapidly expanding market in China, the investments we“ve made in emerging energy-related areas, and improvements we“ve made in our bottom line performance.