No real surprise that shares of ASML Holding (ASML) have paused in the last few days.
European stocks—and ASML is headquartered in Veldhoven Netherlands, have been under pressure from the renewal of the euro debt crisis. Cisco Systems (CSCO) disappointing guidance on November 10 raised doubts about the entire technology sector. And with global markets in a retreat, there’s been a wave of profit taking. ASML certainly had profits to take: the stock was up 41% from its August 31 low to its November 4 high.
But all these negatives are really external to the company itself—and to the recovery in its core markets in my opinion.
A reminder: On October 13 ASML Holdings announced third quarter earnings of 0.61 euros a share. That beat Wall Street forecasts by 0.07 euros. Revenue for the quarter climbed 112% from the third quarter of 2009.
Yes, that’s right 112%. The maker of lithography equipment for drawing circuits on silicon and for chipmakers such as Intel (INTC) and Texas Instruments (TXN) is highly leveraged to the increase in capital spending as the chip industry comes off the bottom.
You can see that leverage in ASML’s bookings—at 1.3 billion euros in the third quarter and expected to exceed that level in the fourth quarter. Booking orders of 1.3 billion euros in a quarter is pretty heady stuff for a company that saw a total of 1.18 billion euros in revenue in the third quarter.
On October 13 ASML Holdings confirmed guidance for fourth quarter revenue of 1.3 billion euros. The analyst consensus calls for 1.26 billion in revenue for the quarter.
As of November 15, I’m keeping my target price of ASML Holding at $43 a share but stretching out the schedule from May to June 2011.
Full disclosure: I don’t own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this post in my personal portfolio. The mutual fund I manage, Jubak Global Equity Fund, may or may not now own positions in any stock mentioned in this post. The fund did own shares of ASML Holdings as of the end of the September quarter. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of the most recent quarter see the fund’s portfolio at http://jubakfund.com/about-the-fund/holdings/ )