A smattering of stories that have hit my inbox this week and this morning (your mileage may vary):
Nokia Rises, Q2 EPS Beats, Steps Up Cost Cuts
My $0.02: The bar of expectations had been lowered, perhaps even buried, to a point where it was impossible to trip over.
IHS iSuppli talks DRAM pricing and capex:
“In the wake of forcefully pursuing lithography reductions in late 2010 and early 2011, the DRAM industry is expected to employ a less aggressive approach to lithography migration throughout the rest of the year,” said Dee Nguyen, memory analyst at IHS. “DRAM capital expenditures are expected decline by 30 percent in 2011 compared to 2010. As a result, the rate of DRAM cost reductions also will slow during the remainder of 2011 and 2012. However, IHS expects that DRAM cost reductions will speed up again in 2013 as lithography shrinks return, due to increased capital spending. Spending will increase by 23 percent in 2012, which may spur steeper price reductions in 2013.
Delays in DRAM shrinks have ramifications for ASM Lithography, Tokyo Electron, Applied Materials, Lam Research and others in the semiconductor capital equipment business. Thank goodness Intel is bellying up to spend some money.
Before leaving this, one more thought. I've been talking about the "quarterly" focus and how it can cause you to lose sight of what is really taking place. Here's another quote from the IHS iSuppli release:
"Surprisingly, DRAM suppliers remained profitable in the first quarter, boosted by the substantial margin built up during the previous up cycle for the market, which began in the second quarter of 2009 and lasted until the end of the rally a year later."
Right on queue, two Taiwanese DRAM houses announce first HALF losses and capital spending reductions:
Nanya Technology suffers 1H11 net loss of nearly NT$17 billion
"Nanya expects a capex of NT$12 billion in 2011, shrinking 47.8% form 2010. With 42nm being mainstream technology currently, Nanya brought 32nm process into trial production in July 2011."
And this one as well:
Inotera Memories sees 1H11 net loss of nearly NT$8 billion
"Inotera expects a capex of NT$17 billion in 2011, shrinking 69.1% form 2010. The proportion of total input of 12-inch wafers for 42nm technology increased to 50% in June 2011, Inotera said. Inotera said it will start trial production based on 30nm technology in the third quarter and kick off volume production in 2012."
Microsemi Makes Hostile Bid to Buy Zarlink
There will be more deals. Bet on it.
Yesterday, from the mighty metropolis of Danbury, Connecticut, semiconductor material supplier ATMI hit the wires. CEO Doug Neugold had this to say about the second half of the year:
"However, we agree with reports that suggest there may be incremental softening in overall wafer starts in the second half of 2011. ATMI's focus on leading-edge solutions should help minimize the impact of any industry softness in the second half."
The full story is here: ATMI Reports 2nd Quarter and First Half 2011 Financial Results
ATMI is a nice company. Keep an eye on it.
And another nice company from the North East:
MKS Instruments comments on the second half for their semiconductor business:
"After a robust first half of the year, we are seeing some softening in the semiconductor market as the record shipments of the last few quarters are assimilated and brought on line."
The morning stock chart for MKS is a total hoot:
To round out the day, something from the wildlife, er, Solar, front:
4 Major U.S. (Solar) Projects Get Approval
"U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced the approval of four new projects on public lands, the launch of environmental reviews on three others, and the next step in a comprehensive environmental analysis to identify 'solar energy zones' on public lands in six western states."
Animals that have a vested interest in these projects include: Mohave Ground Squirrels, the Desert Tortoise, Burrowing Owls, Flat-tailed Horned Lizards, Sage Grouse, Golden Eagles, Bats, Kangaroo Rats, Milk-Vetch, Fringe Toads and Horn-Tailed Lizards.
There will be more.....