Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- ASML Holding NV, Europe’s biggest semiconductor-equipment maker, said orders in the fourth quarter will increase from the third-quarter level as customers add capacity and shift to more advanced-technology machines.
“A sustained need for leading edge systems capable of new nodes will likely result in increased fourth-quarter bookings,” Chief Executive Officer Eric Meurice said in a press release today. He added it is too early to forecast semiconductor demand in 2012.
Sales contracts amounted to 514 million euros ($700 million) in the third quarter, beating ASML’s earlier forecast that orders would not exceed 500 million euros. Third-quarter revenue fell to 1.46 billion euros from 1.53 billion euros a year earlier.
Net income dropped to 355 million euros from 432 million euros a year earlier. Analysts expected profit of 323 million euros and sales of 1.39 billion euros, according to the average of 16 and 16 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
ASML expects fourth-quarter revenue to exceed 1.1 billion euros, including delivery of one second-generation extreme ultraviolet lithography system for about 40 million euros of sales with a profit margin of zero.
ASML, the maker of machines that produce chips Nokia Oyj’s mobile phones, said it’s sticking to its forecast for 2011 of revenue of about 5.5 billion euros.
ASML is the world’s largest maker of machines to project lines on the silicon slices from which chips are made. Its main competitor is Japan’s Nikon Corp. Applied Materials Inc., based in Santa Clara, California, is the world’s largest maker of semiconductor equipment.
--Editors: Thomas Mulier, Jerrold Colten
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