ASML Holding Earnings Call Insights: Cymer In-House, CapEx Trends

On Wednesday, ASML Holding NV ADR (NASDAQ:ASML) reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Cymer In-House

Didier Scemama – Merrill Lynch: Thanks for taking my question. What I would like to understand and I think you sort of alluded to it earlier on Eric is, you’ve been working with Cymer for some time on solving those light source issues. So can you just try to be a bit more explicit as to why you think that bringing Cymer in-house is going to help you reach the 60 wafer per hour or 70 wafer per hour throughout. What is the target?

Eric Meurice – Chairman, President and CEO: We think that we would have progressed to result anyway with the current system of very deep cooperation but we also think that being merged will allow to do this faster and with less risk and with less potential conflict. It is clear that this is a very difficult project. If one of us would – one of the two partners would see things differently like one of us would protect IP, one of us would try to do something in parallel et cetera, you can create a risk of a fight, risk of economic, negotiation which would be of no value for both and also, the human factor to get engineers to work together. It’s always better to put them into the same aquarium as opposed to different aquariums. So, it’s an efficiency question. It’s also a business question. We are reaching the point where being together will reduce the risk of not achieving and we felt on both side of the companies that this was the right time to do so.

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Didier Scemama – Merrill Lynch: Just quickly, did you say that the maximum dilution is going to 5% in year one?

Peter Wennink – EVP and CFO: Yeah, that’s what we currently expect. That is the year one after the closing. So, after the closing, the next 12 months after the closing, because it will take some time to harvest the benefits as Eric alluded to in his opening speech. It will take some time to fully get those benefits on board. So, we believe that after 24 months, after the closing that will be the case. So, then you will see a 5% accretion.

CapEx Trends

Amit Harchandani – Citigroup: A main one and a follow-up by me. My first main question is, could you please talk about CapEx trends in each of your end markets and particularly if you’re seeing any early signs of CapEx plans if your customers being impacted by potential changes in manufacturing strategy by one of their customers? As a follow-up, as we have heard this talk about some of these technological factors such as PLC 3D stacking is impacting on NAND demand. So could you maybe share your thoughts on that?

Eric Meurice – Chairman, President and CEO: Well, the CapEx trend, I think, Peter was clear in mentioning that at this moment, the logic business is clearly on a role. There is indeed discussion within the market about where the different players are manufacturing the project and everybody knows that as discussion where Apple would have the different logic chip manufacturers, et cetera et cetera. All this is happening. However, we see a steady request for our machine for capacity, because 28 nanometer has not yet reached the level of capacity required necessary for just basic demand of these products that will go up to June and we think these are strategic buys. They won’t move with markets as short-term fluctuations and we have seen that 22 nanometer which goes immediately after 28 days is in fact accelerated, because there is war out there between the different architectures ARM versus microprocessor architectures, which pushes everybody to be even more aggressive in the Logic arena in the shrink strategy. So we’re going to have a significant demand on 22-nm second half of the year, and as I think we mentioned now for two or three sessions in a row, 22-nm is a huge node in terms of numbers of lithography layers. In fact I mentioned last quarter that we think the multiplier is 1.7, 1.7 times more machines in 22-nm than 28-nm would require for the same amount of wafers. We think now it’s going to 1.72, so there’s a good inflation here for lithography. The trend however in memories is clearly, in fact there is no trend. At this moment it’s a dead duck business. There is no trend, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come back and this is a key message we have to give. We don’t want to say that we lose something that the business in 2012 will not be sustained in the memory business, no. I think we are saying that there is absolutely no statistics as to where the PC business will be. And without any clarity on that number, I could understand our customers waiting to see how much DRAM capacity needs to be built and how much NAND capacity needs to be built because as you know the new PC form factor, which is basically the tablet with a keyboard and in fact more NAND and more DRAM than the tablet, that thing is going to be a huge factor to the capacity requirements. So there is a key question mark as to exactly what the number is and when is that going to start. I think we will all feel probably the data when the Windows 8 starts and Windows 8 as we know is enabler to these new form factors and it will have this time the significant impact on their PC trend. So we have to wait and I don’t think at this moment any one of us would be able to say there is a negative trend, there is just no trend, no position at this moment. If you talk about it through 3D structures and things, yeah, that has always been the case. You have numbers of opportunity for 3D structures which means more traditional lithography and less state-of-the-art lithography, but as we often say, where we simulate this, the impact on lithography is plus or minus 10% of the NAND business. So it’s not something that you could see easily compared to other parameters.