Lam Research Corporation LRCX reported third-quarter fiscal 2021 non-GAAP earnings of $7.49 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.56. Also, the figure increased 24.2% sequentially.
Adjusted revenues increased 11.3% sequentially and 53.7% year over year to $3.85 billion. The reported revenues also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.01%.
The year-over-year growth was driven by increased investments across varied sectors such as data centers, smartphones, personal computer gaming consoles, IoT and automotive.
During the quarter, the company witnessed strong demand in key electronic categories, including PCs, storage and networking. Also, Lam Research saw broad-based strength in Foundry-Logic spending, including leading-edge nodes. In addition, it saw an increase in NAND demand related to 5G migration, video and new game consoles. It also witnessed persistent Foundry strength in the quarter.
For 2021, WFE spending is estimated to be more than $75 billion, driven by secular tailwinds such as AI, 5G and IoT. Also, the complexity of manufacturing advanced semiconductor devices continues to increase at a rapid rate, leading to a rise in equipment capillarity across all segments. Moreover, new gaming consoles serves as an incremental driver for semiconductor demand and WFE.
Also, migration to higher layer counts in NAND, strong spending in DRAM and solid momentum in Foundry/Logic are key catalysts.
Lam Research Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Top Line in Detail
China, Korea and Taiwan accounted for 32%, 31% and 14% of the company’s total fiscal third-quarter revenues, respectively. On the contrary, Japan, Southeast Asia, the United States and Europe accounted for 7%, 7%, 5% and 4%, respectively.
Non-GAAP gross margin came in at 46.3%, which contracted 30 basis points (bps) sequentially.
Non-GAAP operating expenses were $567 million, reflecting an increase of 0.5% sequentially. However, as a percentage of revenues, the figure contracted 160 bps sequentially to 14.7%.
Adjusted operating margin was 31.6%, up 130 bps sequentially.
Balance Sheet & Cash Flow
At fiscal third quarter-end, cash and cash equivalents as well as short-term investments decreased to $6 billion from $6.3 billion in fiscal second-quarter 2021.
Cash flow from operating activities was $1.2 billion, up from $344.6 million in the fiscal second quarter. Capital expenditures were $89.6 million, down from $92.1 million in the fiscal second quarter.
During the quarter, Lam Research paid dividends of $186.6 million.
For fourth-quarter fiscal 2021, Lam Research projects revenues to be $4 billion (+/- $250 million). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $3.75 billion.
Non-GAAP gross margin is projected at 46.5% (+/-1%) and non-GAAP operating margin is expected to be 32% (+/-1%).
Non-GAAP earnings are projected at $7.50 (+/- 50 cents) per share on a share count of 144 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for non-GAAP earnings per share is pegged at $6.83.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Currently, Lam Research has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include ASML Holding N.V. ASML, Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT and Microchip Technology Incorporated MCHP, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth for ASML Holding, Applied Materials, and Microchip Technology is currently projected at 22.7%, 13.8% and 15.5%, respectively.
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