UPDATE 1-North American chip-gear orders rise 12 pct in June

miércoles 22 de julio de 2009 00:21 CEST

 July 21 (Reuters) - North American manufacturers of
equipment used to make semiconductors reported $323.4 million
in orders in June, up 12 percent from the previous month,
reflecting a gradual recovery in demand for products such as
mobiles and personal computers.
 The book-to-bill ratio was 0.77 in June, meaning that $77
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 $300 billion semiconductor sector could be headed
for a glut.
 June billings were $419.6 million, just over 7 percent up
from May and about 72 percent less than a year ago.
 "We are seeing improvement to the book to bill ratio due to
slight growth in bookings," SEMI Chief Executive Stanley Myers
said in a statement.
 "However for the equipment manufacturers, the market
remains extremely difficult as customers are not yet at a point
where additional capacity investments are needed," he added.
 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)  (Three-month avg) Jan 2009        
584.2           277.2          0.47 Feb 2009           
525.5           258.4          0.49 March 2009          438.3  
     245.6          0.56 April 2009          385.7          
249.0          0.65 May 2009  (final)   392.6           287.8  
    0.73 June 2009 (prelim.) 419.6           323.4         
 *Source: SEMI July 2009
 Billings and bookings figures in millions of U.S. dollars
 (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak