Advantest Corp. (6857), the world’s biggest maker of memory-chip testers, fell to the lowest level in a month in Tokyo trading as Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT:US)’s cut to forecasts heightened concerns about the industry’s outlook.
Advantest dropped as much as 4.7 percent to 1,084 yen, the lowest since June 6, and traded at 1,100 yen as of 10:32 a.m. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.6 percent.
Chip-related companies including Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035) have said sales may remain weak, contributing to Advantest’s 12 percent drop in the past four days. Santa Clara, California-based Applied Materials, which manufactures chipmaking equipment, said yesterday net sales will fall short of a forecast of $9.1 billion to $9.5 billion for the 12 months ending Oct. 28.
Demand in Europe and China is ebbing, Applied Materials Chief Executive Officer Mike Splinter said yesterday in San Francisco. That echoed remarks from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD:US), the second-biggest maker of processors for PCs, which earlier this week blamed those regions for an unexpected drop in second- quarter sales.
Tokyo Electron, the world’s second-largest maker of semiconductor production equipment, said July 6 orders in the three months ended June 30 plunged 28 percent to 79 billion yen ($996 million) from the preceding quarter.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2330), the world’s largest contract manufacturer of chips, fell 1.4 percent to NT$78 as of 9:30 a.m. in Taipei. TSMC plans to spend a record $8 billion to $8.5 billion on equipment and facilities this year, it said April 26.
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