Orders, or bookings, rose 10.3%, after a 2.7% rise in January and a 6.7% rise in December. S&P sees many signs of improvement in the semiconductor end-markets, including higher dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) prices, increased wafer output, and high capacity utilization for leading-edge chip technologies.
Although chip-equipment stocks have run up recently, S&P analyst Richard Tortoriello says he continues to look for value. His favorite stocks in the group are Brooks Automation (BRKS
), Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC
), and FEI (FEIC
), which are all rated 5 STARS (buy).