ASML takes a hit

Currently not-so popular maker of lithography systems ASML Holdings has unveiled it’s earnings for the full year 2009. The company saw net sales drop 46 percent from €2.96 billion in 2008 to €1.6 billion. Net profit turned to red ink and fell from €322.4 million to a loss of €150.93 million. The financial meltdown and generally rather poor state of the world economy thus seems to have hit ASML with a baseball bat.

Nonetheless, things aren’t all that dim. While the company’s goal of reaching net sales of €5 billion is still far off, the company has managed to garner a large order backlog for its equipment, far more so than a year earlier. ASML has orders worth €1.85 billion waiting to be rolled out, compared with merely €755 million at the end of 2008. The average selling price (ASP) per system has also risen considerably, according to the company. At the moment, the backlog amounts to 69 systems with an average selling price (ASP) of €28.9 million. End of December 2008, the total system backlog amounted to 41 systems with an ASP of €21.8 million.

ASML will set to profit from the switch to 40nm technology. Demand for ICs made in the 40 nanometre process has risen, leading to orders for older 40nm systems ASML had already written down. ASML still also has enough cash in its pocket, cash and cash equivalents amount to €1.04 billion.

ASML expects foundries and DRAM makers to start investing in new systems, with the pace picking up especially in the second quarter. For the first quarter, ASML sees net sales worth €700 million.