Photronics, Dai Nippon Printing Form JV

Zacks Equity Research

Imaging technology manufacturer, Photronics, Inc. (PLAB) announced the completion of the joint venture with Tokyo-based Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. The two companies have decided to merge Photronics’ Photronics Semiconductor Mask Corporation and Dai Nippon Printing’s DNP Photomask Technology Taiwan Co., Ltd. While Photronics holds 50.01%, Dai Nippon Printing holds the remaining 49.99% share in the joint venture. Also, the financial details of the joint venture will be recorded in Photronics’ books of accounts.

The joint venture aims to better serve the semiconductor manufacturers in Taiwan. The new unit will be known as Photronics DNP Mask Corporation and leverage Dai Nippon Printing’s technology processes in logic photomasks and Photronics’ advanced technology processes in memory photomask manufacturing and operating scale. This joint venture will be the largest domestic supplier of leading edge photomasks in Taiwan, and will be addressing the 14-nm and beyond technology.

The joint venture is expected to benefit Photronics, given its long-term strategy of expanding in Taiwan — the world’s largest semiconductor market.

Photronics reported mixed results for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 with adjusted earnings per share of 4 cents, in line with the year-ago quarter. Revenues improved 1.7% year over year to $101.5 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2014 stands at 43 cents, reflecting a year-over-year growth of 41.7%.

With a market capitalization of $498.2 million, Photronics currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry include Ultra Clean Holdings Inc. (UCTT), Fujifilm Holdings Corporation (FUJIY) and Tessera Technologies Inc. (TSRA). While Ultra Clean Holdings sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Fujifilm Holdings and Tessera Technologies carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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