For the fourth quarter of 2012, ASML expects net sales of about EUR 1 billion, gross margin of about 41 percent, R&D costs at EUR 155 million and SG&A costs at EUR 64 million.
Third-Quarter 2012 Highlights
- To date we have shipped more than 170 TWINSCAN NXT:1950i systems, our most advanced immersion scanner. More than 45 of these are capable of imaging 230 wafers per hour, and more than 90 immersion systems have exposed more than 1 million wafers within the last 12 months, underlining the robustness of ASML immersion systems to support double patterning.
- Our 6 pre-production EUV systems, called NXE:3100, have exposed more than 23,000 wafers at customer sites with good overlay and imaging performance, enabling semiconductor device recipe development and confirmation of infrastructure progress.
- The successor system, the NXE:3300B, has shown overlay and imaging in a full-field single exposure within customer requirements. We continue to make progress on improving the productivity of the systems currently limited by the EUV light source.
- For further details on EUV, see our separate press release today, 17 October 2012, regarding our merger agreement with Cymer.
Update on the Customer Co-Investment Program
Also during the third quarter, we announced our Customer Co-Investment Program and received approval from our shareholders. Three customers – Intel, TSMC and Samsung – agreed to contribute EUR 1.38 billion to ASML's research and development of next-generation lithography technologies over five years, specifically aimed at accelerating EUV lithography and 450mm lithography development. The intended acquisition of Cymer is made easier by the Co-Investment Program and supports the same strategic goals, as it also targets to secure the semiconductor industry’s transition to the next manufacturing technology, which is needed to create microchips with more functions at a lower cost and that are more energy-efficient, consistent with Moore’s Law. As part of the Customer Co-Investment Program, but separate from the R&D contribution, ASML received EUR 3.02 billion for issuing shares to two of the three participating customers, Intel and Samsung, and expects to receive EUR 838 million from TSMC on 31 October. This cash will be returned to shareholders (excluding participating customers) via a Synthetic Buyback later this year. More details can be found at www.asml.com/cip.Resuming share buyback program With the announcement of the Customer Co-Investment Program on 9 July, 2012, ASML announced that it had suspended its regular share buyback programs. ASML now intends to resume these programs starting 18 October 2012, to complete the EUR 1,130 million program started in 2011 with the remaining EUR 160 million; these shares will be cancelled. Furthermore, up to 2.2 million shares remain to be purchased for the purpose of covering outstanding employee stock and stock option plans; these shares will be held as Treasury shares.
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