| SAN FRANCISCO, July 8
SAN FRANCISCO, July 8 Applied Materials Inc
said it expects industry spending on wafer fabrication
equipment to be flat to down 10 percent this year from 2012, in
line with past predictions as growth in smartphones remains
tempered by caution about the world economy.
Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter told analysts at the
chip manufacturing gear supplier's annual investor day that he
expects spending to improve next year, driven by demand for more
and better smartphones and by the increased complexity of new
manufacturing processes being adopted by chipmakers.
"When we talk about markets, it's really all about mobile,
it's where the growth is," Splinter said on Monday. "There is a
war going on between these device makers."
Applied Materials' wafer fabrication equipment spending
forecast for 2013 is equivalent to between $27 billion and $30
Shares of Applied Materials have risen about 30 percent in
2013 as investors bet that an improving economy, new
manufacturing technologies and ongoing growth in smartphones
will fuel more demand for chip-making equipment.
Prices of DRAM and NAND memory chips have also been
recovering from slumps last year. Toshiba Corp recently
said its NAND plants are running at full capacity following
reduced production last year and that it plans to expand a plant
in Yokkaichi, Japan.
Shares of Applied Materials were flat in extended trade on
Monday after closing down 0.5 percent at $15.14.