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Lam Research Management Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We ended our fiscal year with solid performance and exceeded the midpoint of our guidance range for all metrics provided. Specifically, shipments were approximately $727 million for the quarter, up 2% from the March quarter, supported by capacity additions for leading etch Foundry customers and DRAM capacity conversions for the 2x and 3x technology nodes. Although moderating, leading edge NAND capacity additions continue to be a meaningful part of the company shipment profile.

Turning to the breakdown by application and market segment for Lam's standalone shipments, applications for sub 4x technology nodes represented 96% of overall system shipments. Foundry shipments accounted for 48% of total system shipments while the Memory segment accounted for 46% total shipments divided between NAND at 18% and DRAM at 28%. Lastly, Logic and other constituted the balance of 6%.

Revenue in the June quarter was $716 million, up 9% sequentially. Non-GAAP gross margin was 41.9%, up 1 percentage point from the prior quarter, primarily due to a more favorable customer and product mix and improved factory and field utilization. Non-GAAP operating expenses for the quarter were approximately $195 million versus $197 million in the March quarter. The operating expense level reflects our continued investment in the strategic products and projects offset by favorability related to deferred compensation plan obligations resulting from stock market decline. Lamb attempts to mitigate overall plan exposure relative to market fluctuation and the decreased operating expenses were substantially offset in other income and expense.

Non-GAAP operating income was $106 million versus $73 million in the prior quarter and resulted in a non-GAAP operating margin of 14.7%, exceeding the high end of our guidance range on a positive progression from the 11.1% in the March 2012 quarter.

Our non-GAAP tax rate for the June quarter was aligned with our expectations at 16.5% compared to the 20.4% from in the March quarter. Based on a share count of approximately 117 million shares, June quarter non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.75, exceeding the high end of our guidance range for the quarter by $0.03. I'll note once again that all of the data I've just provide is for Lam's standalone and is intended to be compared to our previously provided June quarter guidance.

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