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Applied Materials' 2020 Outlook Provides Grounds for Cautious Optimism

Eric Jhonsa

While EPS is benefiting to an extent from stock buybacks and good financial execution, revenue still fell 23% annually in the April quarter amid nosediving orders from memory makers, and the midpoint of Applied's sales guidance implies it will be down 21% in the July quarter. In addition, on its earnings call, Applied said it still expects industry wafer fab equipment (WFE) spend to drop by a mid-to-high teens percentage this year, a view that more or less meshes with the ones KLA and Lam provided after issuing their March quarter reports. But Applied did say it expects 2020 to be "a growth year [for] WFE," with the company seeing "a favorable setup" for both foundry/logic and memory spending.