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To: Gottfried who wrote (55485)2/14/2012 9:37:13 PM
From: Return to Sender
1 Recommendation   of 65481
 
From Briefing.com: 4:30 pm : Stocks staged a late rally that left the Dow and Nasdaq to finish at the neutral line and the S&P 500 to settle with only a fractional loss after all three had spent the session wrestling with selling pressure.

Market participants applied pressure to stocks in the wake of news that analysts at Moody's downgraded the debt ratings of several countries in the eurozone periphery. They also issued negative outlooks on France, Austria, and the United Kingdom. The headline acted as a reminder of the precarious conditions that persist in the eurozone even as efforts to restore conditions in flagging Greece continue.

Monthly retail sales were mixed. Overall retail sales for January were up 0.4%, but that's only half of the 0.8% increase that had been broadly expected to follow the flat rate posted for the prior month. Excluding autos, retail sales climbed by 0.7% to exceed the 0.5% increase that had been forecasted to follow a downwardly revised 0.5% decline in the prior month.

Export and import price data showed too little movement for traders to consider worthy of their attention. Business inventory data for December also failed to inspire; overall inventories increased by 0.4%, which is slightly less than the 0.5% increase that had been broadly anticipated.

Early losses were broad, but the stock market's slide was hardly steep. However, sellers were enticed to redouble their efforts with every failed rebound effort by the broad market. That trend took stocks to session lows late in the day, but without the command of any headline or catalyst buyers stepped in with some strong bidding once stocks stabilized narrowly beneath the depths set in the prior session.

The late squeeze higher helped every sector cut its loss. Still, both financials and materials stocks suffered collective losses slightly greater than 1%. The two groups lagged all session.

A lack of share volume likely made the stock market's upward move a little easier, given that individual bids carry greater relative weight on lightly traded sessions. In fact, during the final 30 minutes of trade share volume on the NYSE surged from less than a half billion shares to almost 750 million shares. Although that final tally is still quite paltry, it reflects a near 50% surge in share volume during the final leg of trade.

The greenback staged a strong advance today, resulting in a 0.6% gain for the Dollar Index. Most of that move is owed to a weaker yen, which tumbled so that its exchange rate climbed more than 1% to 78.40 yen per dollar following the decision of Japan's central bank to increase the size of its asset purchase program by about 18% to 65 trillion yen from 55 trillion yen.

Advancing Sectors: Consumer Staples +0.4%, Health Care +0.3%, Utilities +0.2%, Energy +0.2%, Tech +0.2%
Declining Sectors: Telecom -0.1%, Consumer Discretionary -0.1%, Industrials -0.3%, Financials -1.1%, Materials -1.3%DJ30 +4.24 NASDAQ +0.44 NQ100 +0.2% R2K -0.5% SP400 -0.1% SP500 -1.27 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 967/2.10 bln/1570 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1088/744 mln/1904

7:27AM Tegal announces continuing discussions for balance of nanolayer deposition patent portfolio (TGAL) 3.99 : Co announced renewed efforts to make available the balance of its semiconductor process-related intellectual property portfolio. The remaining portfolio consists of thin film structures and process technology pertaining to copper barrier and low-k dielectric technology. On December 30, 2011, Tegal announced that it had sold over thirty patents from Lots 1-3 of its Nano Layer Deposition Patent Portfolio to multiple bidders for an aggregate consideration of approximately $4 million.

Microsemi (MSCC) announced its participation in a multi-disciplinary consortium funded by the European Union (Seventh Framework Programme, FP7) tasked with developing standardized Electro Mechanical Actuators for aerospace applications to eliminate hydraulic circuits, pumps and reservoirs.

Mattson Technology (MTSN) announced that a leading semiconductor manufacturer has accepted its paradigmE etch system for the production of advanced logic chips.

NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) announced its LPC1100LV series, the world's first ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller with dual supply voltage of 1.65V to 1.95V VDD and 1.65V to 3.6V VIO.

Rackspace (RAX $54.66 +5.43) reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.18 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.16, while revenues rose 32.0% year/year to $283.3 million versus the $280.89 million consensus.

Ultra Clean Holdings (UCTT $8.92 +1.12) reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.06 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.03, while revenues fell 27.8% year/year to $86.9 million versus the $85.3 mln consensus. The company issued upside guidance for the first quarter with EPS of $0.15-0.18 versus the $0.10 consensus and revenues of 105-110 million versus the $88.98 million consensus.

11:30 am S&P Tech Sector Down Modestly, In-line With Broader Markets
The tech sector is trading lower today along with losses in the broader market. Semiconductors are showing slight relative strength in the tech space. The Philly Semi Index is trading only 0.2% lower. WFR (-7.2%) is a notable laggard in the chip index, while MU (+4.8%) is showing strength. Among other major indices, the SPY is trading 0.4% lower, while the NASDAQ is 0.5% lower and the QQQ is trading 0.3% lower on the session. Among tech bellwethers, AAPL (+0.2%) is showing strength, while TXN (-1.1%) is under notable pressure.

In earnings last night, FIS (+7.3%) posted a slight beat and increased its dividend. RAX (+10.0%) also reported a quarterly beat.

In news, the Dept of Justice cleared GOOG's (-0.6%) purchase of MMI (+0.1%) and the acquisitions of Certain Patents by AAPL (+0.2%), MSFT (-1.0%) and RIMM (-1.5%).

Among rumors, there are reports that ALU (+2.5%) may be nearing a deal with S (-1.7%). Elsewhere, there is renewed IDCC (-0.7%) takeover chatter making the rounds.

Among notable analyst upgrades this morning, The Benchmark Company upgraded RAX (+10.0%) to Buy. Among downgrades, ASIA (-3.3%) was downgraded to Hold at Jefferies following earnings last night, NTCT (-7.0%) was downgraded to Neutral at Sterne Agee and SMT (0.0%) was downgraded to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

ZNGA (+4.7%) is one of the more notable names in tech scheduled to report results today after the close.

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From: Eric2/15/2012 9:26:49 AM
1 Recommendation   of 65481
 


Lemnis Busts the Lighting Price Barrier With $5 LED Bulbs“

2012 will be a big year but we’re only at the beginning of a decade-liong transition.”

ERIC WESOFF
FEBRUARY 15, 2012


A year ago, Warner Philips, the co-founder of Lemnis Lighting told Greentech Media that consumers will be able to buy an LED lightbulb for less than $10 in 18 to 24 months.

He was right.

Lemnis is now offering an LED bulb for $4.95. It's a basic model -- 200 lumens (which is about a 25-watt equivalent), non-dimmable, and provided with just a one-year warranty. Philips notes that less than 13 percent of U.S. lightbuilbs are on dimmable sockets. And only 0.2 percent of homes have LED lighting, said Philips, citing a DOE report.

But the $4.95 LED bulb is available today and in the view of the CEO, it will act as a gateway-drug to ubiquitous LED lighting. "The reason we've done this is to get people into the game -- instead of waiting for a 60-watt equivelent at a $10 price." By the way -- Warner Philips is the grandson of the founder of Philips Lighting.

Lemnis builds screw-in LED bulbs that replace the traditional incandescent household bulb. The next step up in lumens at Lemnis is the 350-lumen Pharox bulb with a suggested price of $6.95, also with a one-year warranty. Other Lemnis bulbs put out about the same amount of light as a 60-watt or 40-watt incandescent. Greentech Media did a product evaluation of the Lemnis bulb here.

Lemnis has shipped more than five million of their Pharox bulbs since 2006 and has a pipeline of millions of bulbs to be shipped in the coming years. According to the founder, that makes Lemnis the world's leading supplier of LED bulbs.

Declining prices, energy efficiency regulations, and outright bans on incandescents are creating demand for LED bulbs. But it's the early adopters that have been buying bulbs so far. Once a certain price threshold has been met, we'll really start to see mass market adoption of this cool-to-the-touch, long-life, efficient light source. And Lemnis is betting that $4.95 is that price.

Lemnis claims that the majority of people will buy the LED bulb online, although Philips emphasized the importance of other channels such as government, retailers, and utilities.

A recent U.S. Department of Energy forecast predicts that LEDs will represent 76 percent of the general illumination market by 2030, but Lemnis predicts 80 percent market penetration of LEDs in general illumination by 2020.

Lemnis claims that a typical 40-watt incandescent bulb costs approximately $5.69 per year to use at $0.13 per kilowatt-hour, three hours a day. The equivalent Lemnis 350-lumen bulb costs $0.85 per year in energy use and pays for itself in less than two years.

Warner Philips sees the $4.95 bulb useful in certain applications - lights that hang over a bar or a kitchen island, or in a nightstand lamp. Philips claims that he has eight of the 200-lumen unit installed in his home. He also notes that there are 51 light points in the average home.

Philips siad that the firm can make money though "not a lot" at the $4.95 price point on this, their fifth-generation product. One of the reasons they can make money is that Lemnis is selling the 200-lumen bulb directly through its website only - so there is no distributor or retail margin.

This has been a pretty big week for LED lighting. The major industry event, Strategies in Light has come and gone and there's been some compelling funding announcements ( Bridgelux) and some unstealthing ( Soraa).

Add to the list an LED bulb price breakthrough from Lemnis Lighting.

Philips said, "2012 will be a big year but we're only at the beginning of a decade-long

greentechmedia.com

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From: Donald Wennerstrom2/15/2012 12:04:24 PM
   of 65481
 
February 15, 2012, 11:52 A.M. ET
Micron: Elpida Trouble Good For DRAM, Says Raymond James

By Tiernan Ray Shares of Elpida Memory ( 6665JP) fell 14% in Tokyo trading to ¥320 after the DRAM maker said late yesterday that talks to fix its debt load have broken down

As The Wall Street Journal’s Juro Osawa writes, the shares at one point hit their lowest level ever, down 21% at ¥294. Osawa relates that Elpida had been in talks with Japan’s economic ministry and other entities about ways to address a March 22nd deadline to redeem ¥15 billion in bonds and another ¥77 billion due April. The company has ¥97 billion in cash.

Raymond James’s Hans Mosesmann, who has a “Strong Buy” rating on shares of Micron Technology ( MU), writes that with Elpida accounting for 12% to 14%of the entire DRAM market, the news might be good for Micron.

It’s becoming increasingly likely in our view that Elpida (if it survives) will be at a significantly diminished capacity as a DRAM supplier, which has meaningful implications for the DRAM market (and Micron Technology specifically) going forward […] We have long argued that the current DRAM supply environment is not sustainable given that pricing is below cash cost for second tier Asian suppliers. The Elpida news supports that view, and it looks as though 2012 should be a year of positive catalysts for the DRAM supply/pricing dynamic.

Micron shares today are up 15 cents, or 2%, at $8.49.

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From: FUBHO2/15/2012 12:58:35 PM
2 Recommendations   of 65481
 
Orders take off at TSMC

electronicsweekly.com

David Manners
Wednesday 15 February 2012 11:14



Semiconductor industry bellwether, Taiwanese foundry TSMC, is almost booked out of capacity on 40nm processes and better, reports Digitimes.

Apparently AMD, TI, Infineon, Freescale, Broadcom, MediaTek, MStar, Nvidia and Qualcomm have all been increasing orders put on TSMC.

"TSMC’s Q1 is everyone else’s Q2,” points out Malcolm Penn, CEO of analysts Future Horizons, “so, if TSMC sees a strong Q1 then everyone else is expecting growth in Q2."

Digitimes reckons that inventories in the mobile phone, consumer and PC industries are being rebuilt, and that Q1 will be the bottom of the semiconductor industry sales cycle with increasing sales thereafter for the rest of the year.

Last week, TSMC announced its January sales were 10.6% up on December - very much against seasonal trends – albeit coming from a low base.

TSMC CEO Morris Chang forecast semiconductor growth for 2012 of 3-5% but added that he expected TSMC to out-grow not only the overall semiconductor industry but also the foundry industry.

Penn is plumping for 8% semiconductor growth in 2012 but reckons, if the economy bounces back as fast as it did after Lehman, it could be as much as 20%..

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From: Gottfried2/15/2012 8:02:58 PM
1 Recommendation   of 65481
 
bpNDX stii 79%

Feb02 Feb03 Feb06 Feb07 Feb08 Feb09 Feb10 Feb13 Feb14 Feb15
AAPL AAPL AAPL AAPL
AAPL ADBE ADBE ADBE ADBE
AAPL ADBE AAPL ADP ADP ADP ADP AAPL AAPL AAPL
ADBE ADP ADBE ADSK ADSK ADSK ADSK ADBE ADBE ADBE
ADP ADSK ADP AKAM AKAM AKAM AKAM ADP ADP ADP
ADSK AKAM ADSK ALTR ALTR ALTR ALTR ADSK ADSK ADSK
AKAM ALTR AKAM ALXN ALXN ALXN ALXN AKAM AKAM AKAM
ALTR ALXN ALTR AMGN AMAT AMAT AMAT ALTR ALTR ALTR
ALXN AMGN ALXN ATVI AMGN AMGN AMGN ALXN ALXN ALXN
AMGN APOL AMGN BIDU ATVI ATVI ATVI AMAT AMAT AMAT
APOL ATVI ATVI BIIB BIDU BIDU BIDU AMGN AMGN AMGN
ATVI BIDU BIDU CA BIIB BIIB BIIB ATVI ATVI ATVI
BIDU BIIB BIIB CELG BMC BMC BMC BIDU BIDU BIDU
BIIB CA CA CERN CA CA CA BIIB BIIB BIIB
CA CELG CELG CHKP CELG CELG CELG BMC BMC BMC
CELG CERN CERN CMCSA CERN CERN CERN CA CA CA
CERN CHKP CHKP COST CHKP CHKP CHKP CELG CELG CELG
CHKP CMCSA CMCSA CSCO CMCSA CMCSA CMCSA CERN CERN CERN
CMCSA COST COST CTRP CSCO CSCO CSCO CHKP CHKP CHKP
CSCO CSCO CSCO CTSH CTRP CTRP CTRP CMCSA CMCSA CMCSA
CTRP CTRP CTRP CTXS CTSH CTSH CTSH CSCO CSCO CSCO
CTSH CTSH CTSH DELL CTXS CTXS CTXS CTRP CTRP CTRP
DELL DELL DELL DLTR DELL DELL DELL CTSH CTSH CTSH
DLTR DLTR DLTR EBAY DLTR DLTR DLTR CTXS CTXS CTXS
EBAY EBAY EBAY ESRX EBAY EBAY EBAY DELL DELL DELL
ESRX ESRX ESRX EXPD ESRX ESRX ESRX DLTR DLTR DLTR
EXPD EXPD EXPD EXPE EXPD EXPD EXPD EBAY EBAY EBAY
EXPE EXPE EXPE FAST EXPE EXPE EXPE ESRX ESRX ESRX
FAST FAST FAST FFIV FAST FAST FAST EXPD EXPD EXPD
FFIV FFIV FFIV FISV FFIV FFIV FFIV EXPE EXPE EXPE
FISV FISV FISV FLEX FISV FISV FISV FAST FAST FAST
FLEX FLEX FLEX FOSL FLEX FLEX FLEX FFIV FFIV FFIV
FOSL FOSL FOSL FSLR FOSL FOSL FOSL FISV FISV FISV
FSLR FSLR FSLR GILD FSLR FSLR FSLR FLEX FLEX FLEX
GILD GILD GILD GMCR GILD GILD GILD FOSL FOSL FOSL
GMCR GMCR GMCR GOLD GMCR GMCR GMCR GILD GILD GILD
GOLD GOLD GOLD GRMN GOLD GOLD GOLD GMCR GMCR GMCR
GRMN GRMN GRMN HSIC GRMN GRMN GRMN GOLD GOLD GOLD
HSIC HSIC HSIC INFY HSIC HSIC HSIC GRMN GRMN GRMN
INFY INFY INFY INTC INFY INFY INFY HSIC HSIC HSIC
INTC INTC INTC INTU INTC INTC INTC INFY INFY INFY
INTU INTU INTU ISRG INTU INTU INTU INTC INTC INTC
ISRG ISRG ISRG KLAC ISRG ISRG ISRG INTU INTU INTU
KLAC KLAC KLAC LIFE KLAC KLAC KLAC ISRG ISRG ISRG
LIFE LIFE LIFE LINTA LIFE LIFE LIFE KLAC KLAC KLAC
LINTA LINTA LINTA LLTC LINTA LINTA LINTA LIFE LIFE LIFE
LLTC LLTC LLTC LRCX LLTC LLTC LLTC LINTA LINTA LINTA
LRCX LRCX LRCX MAT LRCX LRCX LRCX LLTC LLTC LLTC
MAT MAT MAT MCHP MAT MAT MAT LRCX LRCX LRCX
MCHP MCHP MCHP MNST MCHP MCHP MCHP MAT MAT MAT
MNST MNST MNST MRVL MNST MNST MNST MCHP MCHP MCHP
MRVL MRVL MRVL MSFT MRVL MRVL MRVL MNST MNST MNST
MSFT MSFT MSFT MU MSFT MSFT MSFT MRVL MRVL MRVL
MU MU MU MYL MU MU MU MSFT MSFT MSFT
MYL MYL MYL NFLX MYL MYL MYL MU MU MU
NFLX NFLX NFLX NTAP NFLX NFLX NFLX MYL MYL MYL
NTAP NTAP NTAP NUAN NTAP NTAP NTAP NFLX NFLX NFLX
NUAN NUAN NUAN NVDA NUAN NUAN NUAN NTAP NTAP NTAP
NVDA NVDA NVDA NWSA NVDA NVDA NVDA NUAN NUAN NUAN
NWSA NWSA NWSA ORLY NWSA NWSA NWSA NVDA NVDA NVDA
ORLY ORLY ORLY PAYX ORLY ORLY ORLY NWSA NWSA NWSA
PAYX PAYX PAYX PCAR PAYX PAYX PAYX ORLY ORLY ORLY
PCAR PCAR PCAR PCLN PCAR PCAR PCAR PAYX PAYX PAYX
PCLN PCLN PCLN PRGO PCLN PCLN PCLN PCAR PCAR PCAR
QCOM QCOM QCOM QCOM QCOM QCOM QCOM PCLN PCLN PCLN
ROST ROST ROST ROST ROST ROST ROST QCOM QCOM QCOM
SBUX SBUX SBUX SBUX SBUX SBUX SBUX ROST ROST ROST
SHLD SHLD SHLD SHLD SHLD SHLD SHLD SBUX SBUX SBUX
SIAL SIAL SIAL SIAL SIAL SIAL SIAL SHLD SHLD SHLD
SPLS SPLS SPLS SPLS SPLS SPLS SPLS SIAL SIAL SIAL
SRCL SRCL SRCL SRCL SRCL SRCL SRCL SPLS SPLS SPLS
STX STX STX STX STX STX STX SRCL SRCL SRCL
TEVA TEVA TEVA TEVA TEVA TEVA TEVA STX STX STX
VOD VOD VOD VOD VOD VOD VOD TEVA TEVA TEVA
VRSN VRSN VRSN VRSN VRSN VRSN VRSN VOD VOD VOD
WCRX WCRX WCRX WCRX WCRX WCRX WCRX VRSN VRSN VRSN
WFM WFM WFM WFM WFM WFM WFM WCRX WCRX WCRX
WYNN WYNN WYNN WYNN WYNN WYNN WYNN WFM WFM WFM
XLNX XLNX XLNX XLNX XLNX XLNX XLNX XLNX XLNX XLNX
XRAY XRAY XRAY XRAY XRAY XRAY XRAY XRAY XRAY XRAY
YHOO YHOO YHOO YHOO YHOO YHOO YHOO YHOO YHOO YHOO

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To: Gottfried who wrote (55490)2/15/2012 8:05:23 PM
From: Gottfried
3 Recommendations   of 65481
 
10 new 52 week NDX highs
		
02/15/2012
Open High Low Close Volume
AAPL 514.26 526.29 496.89 497.67 53701188
CA 27.21 27.23 26.74 26.9 3268419
CELG 74.36 76.09 73.83 74.6 5340087
CMCSA 28.98 29.05 28.3 28.52 35266036
DLTR 88.57 88.79 87.34 87.69 994838
FAST 51.57 51.6 50.51 50.63 2137652
ISRG 515.18 515.61 504.72 505.23 407291
MAT 32.68 32.69 32.31 32.39 4024486
MNST 110.29 111.18 106.32 106.51 734598
XLNX 36.56 36.96 36.389 36.45 2252915

NO new 52 week NDX low

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To: Gottfried who wrote (55491)2/16/2012 12:09:45 AM
From: Return to Sender
1 Recommendation   of 65481
 
From Briefing.com: 4:30 pm : Stocks settled with sizable losses near session lows following a mid-session swoon.

The tone ahead of the open was actually positive. Premarket participants were encouraged by news that China intends to expand its investment in Europe, although enthusiasm was tempered by a negative response to headlines that eurozone officials may wait to doll out bailout funds to Greece due to doubts about sincerity of the flagging country's commitment to new austerity measures which were approved by its parliament this past weekend.

The first half of the session was mostly mixed with the S&P 500 chopping along with a modest gain, the Dow down because of lackluster action among blue chips, and the Nasdaq sporting an enviable gain with help from tech stocks.

Apple (AAPL 497.67, -11.79) was also a source of support for the Nasdaq. However, a sudden and concerted shift in sentiment sent the stock sliding from an all-time high above $525, which reflected a climb of more than 25% since it reported earnings less than one month ago, into the red on strong volume. Given the stock's size and influence -- it is the single greatest stock by market cap -- it weighed heavily on broad market action and prompted many participants to slap on sell orders. The retreat took the major equity averages into the red. None could recover.

Upside earnings surprises from Comcast (CMCSA 28.52, +1.27) and Teva Pharma (TEVA 45.04, +1.52) helped their shares maintain impressive gains in the face of the sell-off. Despite better-than-expected results of its own, Deere & Co. (DE 84.28, -4.77) shares dropped sharply to a new monthly low. Strikingly, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF 48.30, +3.71) shares surged to a new two-month high after the apparel retailer unveiled earnings that came short of the consensus. Encouraging commentary from company management was credited for restoring confidence in the stock.

Economic data wasn't altogether exciting. The Empire Manufacturing Survey hit 19.5 in February, up from 13.5 in the prior month. It also exceeded the reading of 14.0 that had been widely anticipated.

Industrial production for January proved disappointing. Data showed no change, which contrasts with the 0.6% increase that had been broadly expected to follow a 1.0% increase in the prior month.

The Housing Market Index impressed some participants by stretching to 29 in February from 25 in the prior month. Many thought that it would improve to just 26.

Minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting failed to induce any meaningful broad market action. However, Regional Fed President Lacker dissented in regard to the description of the time period over which economic conditions were likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate, which stands at 0.00% to 0.25%, because he expects a tightening of monetary policy to prevent inflation projections or expectations prior to the end of 2014.

The dollar didn't see a great deal of action today. Instead, it generally held near the flat line, which is right about where it was by session's end. That said, the euro shed about 0.5% against the greenback to trade at $1.31. Concerns about Greece appeared to overshadow some eurozone GDP data that was generally better than what many had predicted. The headline numbers for fourth quarter GDP featured a 0.3% decline for the eurozone, a 0.2% decline in Germany, and a 0.2% increase in France. Just the other day analysts at Moody's announced they had assigned a negative outlook to France's credit rating.

Although it appeared that the risk trade was turned off, oil prices finished pit trade at $101.78 per barrel for a 1.0% gain. Buying interest was bolstered by concerns about Iran's armament efforts and possible plans by the country to cut its exports.

Advancing Sectors: (None)
Unchanged: Materials
Declining Sectors: Health Care -0.2%, Consumer Staples -0.2%, Energy -0.3%, Consumer Discretionary -0.5%, Telecom -0.5%, Financials -0.6%, Utilities -0.6%, Tech -0.6%, Industrials -1.4%DJ30 -97.33 NASDAQ -16.00 NQ100 -0.8% R2K -0.8% SP400 -0.3% SP500 -7.27 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 940/2.02 bln/1595 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1276/806 mln/1736

4:37PM MEMC Elec misses by $0.05, misses on revs; guides Q1 revs in-line (WFR) 4.65 -0.07 : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.21 per share, $0.05 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.16); revenues fell 15.6% year/year to $717.8 mln vs the $770.64 mln consensus. MEMC Elec sees Q1 revs down 10-15% sequentially; consensus calls for a ~15% decline (Q1 revs of approx $609-645 mln vs. $623.52 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate).

For the first quarter 2012: Semiconductor cycle bottom in Q1 2012 Expecting 10% - 15% lower revenue in Q1 2012 vs. Q4 2011, Orders picking up for Q2 2012; Solar energy systems interconnection volume of less than 100 MW Approximately, 50 MW will be recognized for non-GAAP revenue, Approximately 45 MW of balance sheet projects; Solar energy systems average pricing of approximately $4.25/watt; Operating expenses less than $110 million; Capital spending less than $50 million; Interest / other expense less than $25 million; Non-GAAP tax rate of approximately 30%.

For the full year 2012: Semiconductor revenue flat year-over-year, Revenue in second half 2012 stronger than in first half 2012, Solar energy systems sales volume greater than 400 MW; Solar energy systems average pricing of approximately $3.75/watt; Operating expenses less than $375 million; Capital spending less than $175 million; Interest/other expense less than $100 million; Non-GAAP tax rate of approximately 30%.

4:32PM Photronics reports EPS in-line, misses on revs (PLAB) 7.53 +0.08 : Reports Q1 (Jan) earnings of $0.09 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.09; revenues fell 7.1% year/year to $112.2 mln vs the $113.72 mln consensus.

4:20PM NVIDIA -- Earnings Mover (NVDA) 16.17 : Negative initial reaction to earnings as price sinks down roughly $0.50-0.75 down into the $15.50 zone. Initial after hours spike low down near $15.20.

4:12PM Agilent reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides Q2 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus; guides FY12 EPS in-line, revs in-line (A) 43.64 -0.14 : Reports Q1 (Jan) earnings of $0.69 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.69; revenues rose 7.6% year/year to $1.64 bln vs the $1.65 bln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.71-0.73, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.78 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $1.70-1.72 bln vs. $1.75 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co issues in-line guidance for FY12, sees EPS of $3.13-3.23, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.16 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY12 revs of $6.92-7.02 bln vs. $6.97 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:07PM NetApp reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides AprQ in-line (NTAP) 39.88 +0.76 : Reports Q3 (Jan) earnings of $0.58 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.58; revenues rose 21.4% year/year to $1.57 bln vs the $1.56 bln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q4 (Apr), sees EPS of $0.60-0.65, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.63 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $1.645-1.725 bln vs. $1.68 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

SanDisk (SNDK) announced it has entered into a worldwide, exclusive agreement with Diskeeper Corp. to license its caching software solutions for solid state disk drives.

8:55AM SanDisk announced it agrees to Acquire FlashSoft; financial terms not disclosed (SNDK) 47.00 : Co intends to sell FlashSoft's products as standalone software, as well as offer these software products in combination with its growing portfolio of SAS, PCIe and SATA enterprise solutions. The FlashSoft acquisition is expected to be neutral to SanDisk's earnings in 2012 and accretive in 2013. Additional details of the acquisition were not released.

8:07AM Chipmos Technology reported revenue for the month of January 2012 was NT$1,443.0 mln or US$48.7 mln, a decrease of 1.2% from the month of December 2011 and a decrease of 6.8% from the same period in 2011 (IMOS) 8.62 :

12:54 pm S&P Tech Sector Shows Modest Gains, But Is Outperforming The S&P 500
The tech sector is trading higher today, outpacing minor losses in the broader market. Semiconductors are showing relative strength in the tech space; the Philly Semi Index is trading 1.3% higher. CREE (+4.6%) is a notable leader in the chip index. Among other major indices, the SPY is trading 0.1% lower, while the NASDAQ is 0.2% higher and the QQQ is trading 0.3% higher on the session. Among tech bellwethers, AAPL (-0.3%) is showing strength, while T (-0.5%) is under pressure.

In earnings last night, ZNGA (-12.6%) posted a slight beat with inline guidance, while QSFT (-8.8%) reported a mixed qtr and guided above consensus. In news, Third Point, which owns 5.56% of YHOO (-0.8%), disclosed last night its intention to nominate 4 to the Board of YHOO. Elsewhere, SNDK (+2.6%) announced this morning it will acquire FlashSoft, which is expected to become accretive in 2013. Among rumors, LNKD (-0.2%) is reportedly in talks to enter China.

Among notable analyst upgrades this morning, The Benchmark Company upgraded FIO (+3.4%) to Buy and FIS (+1.7%) was upgraded to Neutral at JP Morgan.

Among downgrades, ZNGA (-12.6%) was downgraded at Robert W. Baird, BofA/Merrill, and Barclays. Also, PWAV (-14.6%) was downgraded to Underweight at JP Morgan, RAX (-0.3%) was downgraded to Market Perform at Raymond James, ASIA (-1.8%) was downgraded to Sell at UBS, ORCL (+0.1%) was downgraded to Above Average at Caris, and DELL (-0.1%) was downgraded to Underperform at Sterne Agee.

A (+0.9%), CTL (+0.3%), NTAP (+2.3%), and NVDA (+0.4%) are some notable names in tech scheduled to report results today after the close.

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From: Eric2/16/2012 7:43:10 AM
1 Recommendation   of 65481
 
China Solar Silicon Production Curbed 30% to Lift Prices: Energy

China’s polysilicon industry, the biggest supplier to solar-panel manufacturers worldwide, has idled almost one-third of production and may keep the plants closed until prices recover from a 60 percent plunge.

The price tumble spurred the smallest producers including units of Baoding Tianwei Baobian Electric Co. (600550) and Dongfang Electric Corp. to halt plants, according to Xie Chen, an analyst from the China Nonferrous Metals Industrial Association, a trade group that advises the government. China has about 45 percent of global production capacity to purify silicon into polysilicon.

The suspensions may be short-lived because the average spot price for the most expensive ingredient in making solar panels rose 9 percent since mid-December from a decade low. A recovery would boost margins for the biggest makers such as GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. (3800), China’s largest, and Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. of the U.S., which is No. 1 in the world by capacity.

“The freeze in production won’t last too long,” Xie said in an interview. “Many companies have said they will return to manufacturing if prices rise to $47 a kilogram” from the current level of about $28.80.

Xie forecast prices will jump to $40 to $50 a kilogram this year. That’s enough to prompt a return to production in the first half of most of the halted plants, which he estimated were about 30 percent of the total. Xie’s view was shared by Lian Rui, a senior analyst in Beijing for New York-based research company Solarbuzz.

Price Forecasts

Polysilicon will average about $30 this year, and companies including the units of Baoding Tianwei and Dongfang Electric will probably resume production as early as May, Lian said in an interview. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has forecast 2012 polysilicon prices to average $25 per kilogram this year.

Two phone calls placed to Gong Dan, spokesman for Dongfang Electric, and an e-mail sent to Yin Xiaonan, Baoding Tianwei’s spokesman, weren’t answered.

The rebound from polysilicon’s 10-year low of $26.31 a kilogram in mid-December coincides with increased interest by China to install photovoltaic devices on its own soil.

Chinese producers will double the number of panels that will be installed this year from the 2.2 gigawatts erected in the country in 2011, according to forecasts from manufacturers Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) That would absorb some of the industry’s excess inventory, which led to the drop in prices and profits.

Demand for solar products is recovering and is expected to shift from Europe to Asian and U.S. markets, Renewable Energy Corp. ASA (REC), a Sandvika, Norway-based maker of polysilicon, said in its earnings presentation Feb. 8.

‘Suck up Supply’

The increase in panel demand in China “sucks up some of the excess supply,” Pavel Molchanov, an analyst for Raymond James & Associates Inc. in Houston, said by e-mail on Feb. 9.

The expectation that China will increase installations this year has led some solar companies to keep plants running. GCL- Poly, LDK Solar Co. (LDK) and Asia Silicon (Qinghai) Co. have continued to operate their plants, according to Xie. His association acts as a conduit between the Chinese government and solar companies, advising both ministers and executives.

Xinyu, China-based LDK Solar said in November that it plans to triple its capacity and make 55,000 tons of polysilicon a year by 2014. GCL-Poly more than doubled capacity last year to 46,000 tons. Korea’s OCI Co. (010060) is building a plant capable of making 24,000 tons of the material annually in Saemangeum.

Jessy Fang, a spokeswoman of GCL-Poly in Hong Kong, declined to comment. Two calls to Li Longji, an acting director for LDK’s public relations department, weren’t answered.

Smaller Companies

It is the smaller companies that have struggled and may continue to do so, said Lian of Solarbuzz.

Leshan Ledian Tianwei Silicon Science & Technology Co. and Xinguang Silicon, units of Baoding Tianwei, halted production last year to reduce losses and operating costs. Dongfang Electric Emei Semiconductor Material Co., a unit of Dongfang Electric Corp. (1072), also stopped manufacturing.

Zhejiang Xiecheng Silicon Industry Co. filed for bankruptcy in December, the first collapse of a solar company in China.

“Prices may be stuck near $30 a kilogram for a year or two, but this may be enough for the bigger companies like LDK and GCL to continue with production,” Lian said. It’s unlikely that the larger companies will seek to acquire those that are struggling, he said. “Buying a company that can’t operate efficiently is costlier than expanding organically,” he said.

Full Capacity

Daqo New Energy Corp., the nation’s fourth-largest polysilicon producer, can produce polysilicon at a cost of $30 a kilogram and is operating at full capacity, said Kevin He, its investor relations manager.

Companies can maintain operation at this price, “but it’s hard to make profits,” he said. The Wanzhou, Chongqing-based company last year started building a 3,000-ton plant to increase capacity by as much as 70 percent.

The top five polysilicon producers including Hemlock and Germany’s Wacker Chemie AG (WCH), more than doubled output in 2010 from 2008, data from New Energy Finance show. The decline in the price of the raw material has been steeper than the 47 percent decrease for panels last year because polysilicon plants have higher operating costs, particularly for electricity.

“Power prices account for a substantial portion of the cost of a polysilicon plant,” said Solarbuzz’s Lian. Prices of electricity are higher in some regions where factories are located, including the eastern coastal provinces such as Zhejiang where Zhejiang Xiecheng Silicon Industry’s plant is based, Lian said.

bloomberg.com

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From: Eric2/16/2012 7:55:51 AM
1 Recommendation   of 65481
 
U.S. Solar Projects Rose 67 Percent in Fourth Quarter, SEIA Says

Installation of solar panels in the U.S. surged as much as 67 percent in the fourth quarter as developers raced to qualify for an expiring federal incentive program and panel prices fell 16 percent, a trade group said.

Developers installed 700 megawatts to 750 megawatts of rooftop and ground-mounted systems in the quarter, compared with 450 megawatts in the third quarter, according to preliminary estimates from the Washington-based Solar Energy Industries Association.

Installations this year may grow by 3,000 megawatts to 4,000 megawatts, up from about 1,800 megawatts in 2011, if a U.S. Treasury Department incentive known as the 1603 program is renewed, said Rhone Resch, the trade group’s chief executive officer.

Last year “was an incredible year and 2012 could be even better if Congress extends the grant program,” Resch said in an interview today.

President Barack Obama included 1603 in the proposed federal budget released yesterday and SEIA is lobbying to have it attached to the payroll tax extension Congress is debating now.

The 1603 program offered cash grants of as much as 30 percent of development costs for renewable energy projects.

The grant program was enacted in 2009 to encourage investors to back renewable-energy projects. It’s helped develop more than $24 billion of power plants fueled by wind, solar and other renewable sources, Resch said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.net.

bloomberg.com

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From: Eric2/16/2012 9:47:54 AM
2 Recommendations   of 65481
 
MEMC predicts challenging 2012, as it announces flat financials

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. says both its fourth quarter (Q4) and full year (FY) financials reflect the "challenging" market environment it encountered in 2011. While the company believes it is well positioned for the future following its production and staff cutbacks, it forecasts another difficult year.

Forced to introduce significant cutbacks at the end of 2011 in order to cope with the market conditions, MEMC has endured a rough 12 months, with setbacks seen in both the semiconductor and solar markets. Specifically, the wafer and silicon manufacturer says revenue for its solar materials business segment has declined "sharply" both sequentially and year-on-year. The reason cited was "significantly weaker" wafer pricing and volumes. These challenges are expected to remain this year.

MEMC CEO, Ahmad Chatila, commented, "Although solar interconnections roughly doubled in 2011 and we expect strong growth in 2012, uncertainty regarding feed-in tariffs and credit markets in Europe will remain challenging in 2012."

In light of this, MEMC has said it will not issue specific revenue and earnings guidance for 2012. It did predict, however, that it will connect solar systems worth less than 100 MW in Q1. "Approximately 50 MW will be recognized for non-GAAP revenue," said the company. It adds that it expects the average price of solar systems to be $4.25 per watt.

The financials

Of MEMC's overall GAAP revenues earned in Q4 – US$717.8 million – the solar materials segment reaped $108.6 million, a 46 percent decrease from Q3 2011 and a 61 percent decrease from Q4 2010. Going forward, MEMC says that "solar wafer sales to external parties are expected to decline to minimal levels due to the company's strategic shift to primarily supplying wafers for internal consumption by SunEdison, as well as the previously announced global restructuring, including the expected closure of the polysilicon manufacturing facility in Merano, Italy and the capacity reductions in the Portland, Oregon and Kuching, Malaysia facilities."

In addition to revenue decreases, the segment also recorded a huge operating loss of $729 million, compared to a loss of $65.3 million in Q3 2011, and an operating profit of $38.1 million in Q4 2010.

As of January 1, 2012, the solar materials segment was combined with SunEdison.

SunEdison performed relatively well in comparison. Q4 GAAP revenue was said to be $381.3 million, compared to $48.4 million in Q3 2011, and $307.6 million in Q4 2010. The increase was attributed to the sale of several large solar projects. Q4 2011 non-GAAP revenue, meanwhile, was $435.6 million, up from $391.2 million in Q3 2011 and $407.0 million in Q4 2010.

Despite this, SunEdison recorded a Q4 2011 GAAP operating loss of $433.7 million, compared to a loss of $29.6 million in Q3 2011, and $5.9 million in Q4 2010. Furthermore, its adjusted non-GAAP operating income for Q4 2011 was $13.2 million, compared to adjusted non-GAAP operating income of $36.4 million in Q3 2011 third quarter and $61.6 million in Q4 2010.

The company ended Q4 2011 with a pipeline of three gigawatts. As of December 31, 2011, it says that 255 megawatts were under construction.

Chatila ended on a positive note, "Our operations and pipeline in the most promising, stable markets, and our brand recognition position us for long-term growth in solar. Through productivity and restructuring efforts, we will be positioned for both semiconductor, and eventually solar, market upturns."

pv-magazine.com

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