UPDATE 1-North American chip-gear orders rose 3 pct in April

viernes 22 de mayo de 2009 00:30 CEST

  * April orders rise 3 pct sequentially
 * April book-to-bill ratio 0.65
 * April billings fall 11 pct sequentially
 May 21 (Reuters) - North American manufacturers of
equipment used to make semiconductors reported orders of $253
million in April, up 3 percent from the previous month,
industry data released on Thursday showed.
 The book-to-bill ratio was 0.65 in April, meaning that $65
worth of orders were received for every $100 of product
shipped, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International
said in a preliminary report.
 The ratio is watched as an indicator of the demand pipeline
for the industry, as well as for hints about chip capacity and
whether the semiconductor sector could be headed for a glut.
 Orders in April declined 77 percent compared with a year
ago, SEMI said. April billings were $389.9 million, 11 percent
less than in March and 71 percent less than a year ago.
 "Capital investment by chip makers remains limited and
bookings for semiconductor manufacturing equipment from North
America-based companies have been essentially flat at
extraordinarily low levels for the past quarter," SEMI Chief
Executive Stanley Myers said in a statement.
 U.S. chip equipment makers include Applied Materials Inc
(AMAT.O: Cotización), the world's biggest, testing tools firm KLA Tencor
Corp (KLAC.O: Cotización), circuitry-etching tools company Lam Research
Corp (LRCX.O: Cotización) and Novellus Systems Inc (NVLS.O: Cotización), which
specializes in preparing the surface of a silicon wafer before
circuits are laid down.
 The SEMI book-to-bill is a ratio of three-month moving
averages of worldwide bookings and billings for North
America-based chip-equipment makers.
 The data contained in the report was compiled by David
Powell Inc, an independent financial services firm, without
audit, from data submitted directly by the participants.
             Billings       Bookings    Book-to-Bill
                               (Three-month avg) November
2008           806.8          783.8         0.97 December 2008 
      672.4          579.1         0.86 January  2009       
584.2          277.2         0.47 February 2009          
525.5          258.4         0.49 March    2009 (final)   438.3
      245.6         0.56 April    2009 (prelim)  389.9      
253.0         0.65
 # Billings and bookings figures are in millions of U.S.
 *Source: SEMI May 2009
 (Reporting by Shrutika Verma in Bangalore; Editing by Savio