Feb 18 (Reuters) - North American semiconductor equipment makers posted $1.13 billion in average worldwide bookings in January, up 24.1 percent from December, reflecting strong signs of spending in the semiconductor device market.
This month’s bookings were more than three times higher than the $277.2 million in orders posted in the year-ago period, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) said in a report.
“Semiconductor capital equipment bookings are at the highest level since April 2008,” SEMI Chief Executive Stanley Myers said.
Book-to-bill ratio in January was 1.20, which means that $120 worth of orders was received for every $100 of product billed for the month.
The ratio is watched as an indicator of the demand pipeline for the industry, as well as for hints about chip capacity.
U.S. chip equipment makers include Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O), the world’s biggest; testing tools firm KLA Tencor Corp (KLAC.O); circuitry-etching tools company Lam Research Corp (LRCX.O) and Novellus Systems Inc NVLS.O, which specializes in preparing the surface of a silicon wafer before the etching of circuits.
The SEMI book-to-bill is a ratio of three-month moving averages of worldwide bookings and billings for North America-based chip-equipment makers.
The data contained in the report was compiled by David Powell Inc, an independent financial services firm, without audit, from data submitted directly by the participants.
Billings and bookings figures are in millions of U.S. dollars.
Billings Bookings Book-to-Bill
(3-month avg.) (3-month avg.) August 2009 580.0 614.5 1.06 September 2009 648.4 758.9 1.17 October 2009 694.1 756.3 1.09 November 2009 744.2 791.8 1.06 December 2009 850.1 912.7 1.07 (final) January 2010
946.3 1132.4 1.20 (prelim) (Reporting by Deepti Govind in Bangalore)