Turnaround expected in semiconductor equipment sales growth, says S&P equity analyst

Feb. 20, 2003 – New York, NY – Standard & Poor’s semiconductor equipment equity analyst has foresees worldwide semiconductor equipment sales growing 5 to 10% in 2003, a turnaround from the 2001 – 2002 back-to-back drops of 41% and 33%, respectively.

“We expect worldwide semiconductor equipment sales to grow 5 to 10% in 2003, ending the worst industry downturn ever in 2001 and 2002, when sales fell 41% and 33% respectively,” says Richard Tortoriello, semiconductor equipment equity analyst.

“Memory chipmakers have been increasing expenditures on next-generation 300mm wafer fabs, which will enable significant cost savings over 200mm fabs. In Japan, large electronics makers are restructuring their semiconductor businesses and have begun investing in new equipment after a two-year spending drought. We expect large North American device manufacturers, which have spent heavily over the past few years, to reduce spending in 2003. Lastly, the foundry business remains a wild card, with capital spending levels dependent on demand for electronics end products, particularly for consumer-oriented products. Currently, however, we expect spending by the foundry industry to decline year over year,” concludes Tortoriello.

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