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Analyse aandeel ASM International

ASM International heeft gewerkt aan het verlagen van zijn kosten. Niettemin is het cyclische karakter van de chipindustrie en de industrie die machines voor halfgeleiderproductie maakt en het gebrek aan schaalgrootte van ASMI een risico voor de onderneming. (rapport Engelstalig)  

Peter Wahlstrom, CFA 01 mei, 2014 | 0:25

INVESTMENT THESIS

ASM International operates in the front end of the semiconductor equipment industry, and holds a 40% stake in major back-end chip equipment player ASM Pacific Technology, or ASMPT. Front-end tools are used by chipmakers to fabricate circuits on semiconductor wafers, while back-end tools are used to assemble and package individual chips into their usable form.

ASM is competitive in certain segments of the front-end market, but the business has seen limited profitability over the years. ASM's competition includes Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron, two major chip equipment companies. With vastly greater scale and resources than ASM, these firms have advantages in areas such as research and development spending, overhead expense absorption, and pricing. However, ASM's focus on cutting-edge, front-end tools should position the firm to benefit from advances in semiconductor manufacturing technology. ASM has been spending substantial sums on R&D to ensure that its tools will be competitive for future nodes, and has made progress. The firm now has leading tools in certain niches and is a key supplier of atomic layer deposition equipment and plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition equipment, which are increasingly being adopted by chipmakers for state-of-the-art chip fabrication processes.

In 2013, ASM reduced its stake in the ASMPT subsidiary from 52% to 40% in an effort to unlock value, as the firm and some shareholders believed that the stock market did not fully recognize the value of ASM's combined front-end and back-end businesses. ASMPT is the leader in back-end assembly and packaging equipment. Despite facing numerous competitors, ASMPT is the most profitable player in the back-end industry because of its low-cost operations in Asia. This advantage has allowed ASMPT to remain consistently profitable, even during the severe industry downturn in 2008-09.

ASM has been working to reduce costs in its main front-end equipment business in recent years, including moving its manufacturing to Singapore. Nonetheless, the cyclical nature of the equipment industry and the lack of scale that ASM has, compared with larger competitors, present risks for the company.


VALUATION

Economic Moat   Fair value   Stewardship Rating   Halfgeleiders
None   EUR 32.00   Standard  
Moat Trend   Uncertainty   Sector  
Stable   Very high  

Technologie - halfgeleiders

 


BULLS

  • Its focus on emerging chip fabrication processes will position the company to benefit from advances in semiconductor technology.

  • ASM PT is the leading and most profitable player in the back-end market.

  • ASM has embarked on cost-streamlining measures in the front-end business, which includes moving manufacturing to Asia to lower costs.



BEARS

  • ASM's front-end business faces formidable competition, including the two largest chip equipment firms in the world.

  • ASM operates in the deeply cyclical semiconductor equipment industry and is prone to unpredictable swings in business.

  • In 2013, the top 10 customers in the main front-end business accounted for 86% of sales.

 

 

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Effecten genoemd in dit artikel

Naam effectPrijsChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Advanced Micro Devices Inc41,15 USD-3,38
Applied Materials Inc59,87 USD-0,81
ASM International NV103,40 EUR0,78
ASML Holding NV259,85 EUR1,72
Intel Corp57,79 USD0,42

Over de auteur

Peter Wahlstrom, CFA  Peter Wahlstrom, CFA, is an associate director with Morningstar.

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