Asyst posts $75.6 M Q3 sales

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 30 January 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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FREMONT: Asyst Technologies Inc., (Nasdaq:ASYT), Thursday posted consolidated net sales of $75.6 million for the third quarter, compared with $72.3 million in the prior sequential quarter.

Results for the quarter include the results of Asyst-Shinko Inc., an AMHS joint venture (JV). The company completed the purchase of its 51% interest in the JV on October 16, 2002.

The JV contributed $24.1 million to net sales for the quarter, which was partially offset by the decline in Asyst's base business, consistent with the industry-wide downturn in demand for most semiconductor manufacturing products.

Consolidated gross margin was 25%, compared with 39% in the second fiscal quarter. The decline is attributable to the impact of Asyst-Shinko, whose AMHS business in the quarter provided lower gross margins; accelerated depreciation of manufacturing assets and other costs related to the company's transition to outsourced production; and lower sales volumes in Asyst's base business. Excluding the impact of Asyst-Shinko and the transition to outsourced manufacturing, gross margin was 34%.

GAAP results include one-time charges of $5.8 million for in-process research and development related to the acquisition of the Asyst-Shinko JV interest; $8.7 million for the impairment of acquired intangibles; and $2.2 million related to cost-cutting restructuring initiatives. Discontinued operations includes approximately $6.5 million of charges related to the writedown of net assets based on expected realized values. GAAP net loss from continuing operations was $(32.6 million), or $(0.86) per diluted share. Net loss including discontinued operations was $(40.9 million) or $(1.08) per share. Pro forma net loss from continuing operations was $(14.3 million), or $(0.38) per diluted share.

"After two quarters of outperformance, we were not immune to the industry forces that dragged down sales in the December quarter," said Steve Schwartz, chairman and chief executive officer.

"Fortunately, Asyst-Shinko remains a bright spot and has maintained its current revenue runrate over the past several quarters. China also has been a source of strength, as our 200mm SMIF and other products continue to be chosen by a factor of more than 10-to-1 over our competitors. This was offset by our lack of substantial participation in the very recent new DRAM fab activity in Korea, where we are working to improve our market position."

Mr. Schwartz continued, "We are encouraged by the recent increases in quote activity, particularly in Japan. We also see strategic investments in 300mm capacity continuing, which positions us well with our improved and refreshed 300mm offerings in all of our product lines. Although we continue to look for hard indicators of a sustainable upturn, we believe that the December quarter marked our near-term bottom for bookings, and that the March quarter will be our near-term bottom for sales."

Net bookings for the quarter were $48.3 million, compared with $50.2 million in the prior sequential quarter. Approximately $18.0 million of net bookings were attributable to Asyst-Shinko.

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