By Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM -ASML Holding NV, a key supplier to computer chip makers, reported on Wednesday first-quarter sales of 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) and net income of 695 million euros, slightly ahead of expectations.
Bookings remain strong as customers race to increase capacity amid a global semiconductor shortage, said ASML, which is Europe’s largest technology company by market capitalisation, at 226 billion euros.
“We are working very, very hard to navigate all the supply chain issues that everyone is dealing with,” chief financial officer Roger Dassen said in a statement.
The company forecast second quarter sales of 5.1-5.3 billion euros and left a forecast for full year sales growth of 20% unchanged. Net bookings in the quarter were 7 billion euros.
ASML is the dominant maker of lithography systems, and its machines are used to create the circuitry of most computer chips.
Analysts had forecast net income of 621 million euros on revenue of 3.44 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
In January, ASML forecast first-quarter sales of 3.3-3.5 billion euros. [L1N2TZ0CK]
Dassen said full year gross margins might be closer to 52%, rather than the 53% the company forecast in January, in part due to rising labour, transport, energy and cost increases.
ASML, which expects to catch up with its current order backlog only sometime in 2024, is taking steps to cut delivery times and increase productivity of its tools, even as it tries to expand production.
Not included in first quarter sales were equipment worth about 2 billion euros that customers asked to have shipped immediately, before it was fully tested.
Those deliveries cannot yet be booked as sales, but ASML expects to recognise that revenue over the coming quarters.
Dassen said the company had received “multiple” orders for its next generation “EUV High NA” machine, which is still being developed. For the first time, there were makers of memory chips among such clients, he added.
ASML‘s biggest customers are TSMC, Samsung and Intel, though memory chip makers SK Hynix and Micron and all major chipmakers are also customers.
The company has forecast average annual sales growth of 11% through 2030 as part of a structural increase in chip demand.
Shares closed at 561.60 euros on Tuesday, down 21% for the year to date, though more than double their price in April 2020.