Applied Materials forecasts strong Q1 revenue on easing supply chain woes

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as Applied Materials CEO Gary Dickerson speaks at Applied Materials, in Santa Clara, California, U.S. October 17, 2022. Josh Edelson/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Chip tools maker Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O) on Thursday forecast first-quarter revenue above market estimates, on hopes that easing supply chain constraints will help it meet pent up demand from chipmakers ramping up production.

The company's results come at a time when the wider chip industry is seeing sluggish demand for consumer electronics like PCs and smart phones, with chipmakers like Intel Corp (INTC.O) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.O) providing weak outlook.

"Applied's performance reflects the past strength in semiconductor demand where industry capacity was unable to fulfill demand," said Kinngai Chan, an analyst at Summit Insights Group, adding that existing strong backlog continues to drive near-term financial performance for the company.

Shares of the Santa Clara, California-based company, which have slumped about 33% so far this year, rose 3% in trading after the bell.

However, Chief Executive Gary Dickerson said that the company is slowing the "rate of spending growth in the near term amid geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges."

The COVID-19 lockdowns in China earlier this year against the backdrop of rising costs have also prompted chipmakers like Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (2330.TW) – some of the biggest customers of Applied – to cut spending. read more

Applied posted revenue of $6.75 billion for the fourth quarter ended Oct. 30, compared to analysts' average expectation of $6.45 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company sees current-quarter revenue of $6.70 billion, plus or minus $400 million, compared with analysts' average estimate of $6.45 billion.

Applied said the outlook includes an expected impact of the recently announced U.S. export regulations and ongoing supply chain challenges.

CEO Dickerson, during an earnings call, said the company is estimating that the unmitigated impact to its fiscal 2023 revenues due to the export curb could be up to $2.5 billion.

Excluding items, Applied earned $2.03 per share in the reported quarter, beating estimates of $1.73 per share.

Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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