KLAC did some sleezy things during the downturn. They'd lay off whole departments and then hire 90% of the people back but push them down a pay-grade.
It didn't matter how good you were. You could work 100 hrs/week and make cold fusion work, and they'd give you a 5% raise and demand that you solve all future problems related to fusion and fission, since you were good at it. While people who looked busy in staff meetings and had a ready list of excuses would go home early and get 4% raises.
Guess which sort of engineer is feeling mobile now that the economy is picking up? All the good people are leaving and KLAC will be left with 5 buildings full of phone sanitizers!
The problem became clear to me when I met a bright young analog EE at a party. (I love silicon valley that way :) He was experienced enough to have shipped a few challenging designs but not so senior he'd just want to tell you stories about the old days... Pure gold. I got him excited about coming to visit until I mentioned the company name. I could see his face fall and he said 'I heard they are really cut-throat'
I was going to protest, but then I thought about all the times the head of the EE group shamelessly lied about other people's work in order to protect his turf. Once I realize that I couldn't recruit a talented friend to come work there in good conscience, I was late for the door....
Thier cash cow has always been Wafer Inspection, but that is now in disarray. There is brutal in-fighting and Senior Managers are more worried about the effect of admitting expensive mistakes on their careers than the effect of not admitting them on the viability of the company.
AMAT's uVision is using tech that will scale into deep UV. (In fact they are already there) KLAC bet the farm on a technology that was politically attractive after the merger but has run out of technological gas. 90% market and 70% gross margine was never a birthright. They screwed it up and deserve to fail.
klac worth only $45 reacent earning ceo said current quater is good. based up on information this stocks went up 10 from $46 to $56. insider will take profit. it will go down to $45 again. KLAC REACHED 2 YEAR GAIN.