ASMI ups revenue forecast, cites strong Chinese bookings, shares jump

By Nathan Vifflin

(Reuters) -Wafer processing equipment supplier ASM International (ASMI) raised its revenue forecast for the second quarter, citing stronger-than-expected Chinese demand and higher sales in advanced logic and memory, sending its shares up as much as 12%.

ASMI said after market close on Tuesday that it now expected revenue in the quarter between 660 million euros and 700 million euros ($706 million to $749 million) at constant currencies, compared with 600-640 million euros previously. It also forecast a 10% revenue increase in the second half of 2024 compared with the first half.

"ASM reported a very strong 1Q24 trading update with a 27% EBIT beat, driven by revenue coming in at the top-end of guidance," ING analyst Marc Hesselink said, noting better gross margin and good cost controls.

ASMI shares were up 10.1% at 0919 GMT on Wednesday, making it the top gainer of Amsterdam's AEX index.

"We still expect sales from the Chinese market in the second half to be lower, but the decrease will be more moderate than we previously anticipated," the company said in a statement.

Sales in advance logic and foundry equipment, mostly for ASMI's technology for gate-all-around transistors, and in the memory segment are also expected to rise over the second half of the year, while its silicon carbide tooling, used to extend the range of electric vehicles is expected to grow by double-digits in 2024, it said.

For the first quarter, ASMI reported 698 million euros in orders, against a 658 million euro analyst consensus forecast provided by researcher Visible Alpha.

Last week, the largest supplier of equipment to computer chip makers, ASML, said it also expected Chinese demand to remain strong, even as talks continue between the U.S. and Dutch governments about restricting China's access to ASML's services and technology.

($1 = 0.9349 euros)

(Reporting by Nathan Vifflin in GdanskEditing by David Goodman and Tomasz Janowski)