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Orders and Shipments of Chip Equipment Drop

The semiconductor equipment book-to-bill dropped in October as the number of new orders fell.
New orders and shipments of semiconductor equipment declined in October compared to September, according to trade association SEMI.

The three-month average of worldwide bookings in October 2012 was $743.2 million, down 18.6 percent from September when orders totaled $912.8 million. The October 2012 figure was also 19.8 percent lower than October 2011 when orders amounted to $926.8 million.

The three-month average of worldwide billings (shipments) in October 2012 was $986.5 million, down 15.3 percent from September when shipments were $1.16 billion.

The billings figure was also 21.6 percent less than September 2011 when revenue totaled $1.26 billion, SEMI reported.

“Semiconductor industry investments remain muted as the industry enters the fourth quarter,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. He said that investments in leading-edge technologies will continue to drive spending in the near-term. There will be a clearer picture of the 2013 outlook over the next several months when chip companies announce their plans for capital expenditures, according to McGuirk.

The SEMI book-to-bill ratio was 0.75 in October, down from 0.78 in September. A book-to-bill of 0.75 means that equipment manufacturers received $75 in new orders for every $100 of orders that they shipped in the month.