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Lam Research (LRCX)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

July 25, 2012 5:00 pm ET


Shanye Hudson - Director of Investor Relations

Ernest E. Maddock - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Senior Vice President and Head of Silfex Incorporated

Martin B. Anstice - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Carol Raeburn - Senior Director of Investor Relations


Christopher J. Muse - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Terence R. Whalen - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Satya Kumar - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Vishal Shah - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

James Covello - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Christopher Blansett - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Edwin Mok - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Patrick J. Ho - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Stephen Chin - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Krish Sankar - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Benedict Pang - Caris & Company, Inc., Research Division

Weston Twigg - Pacific Crest Securities, Inc., Research Division



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Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Lam Research Corporation June 2012 Quarterly Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the conference over to Shanye Hudson, Director of Investor Relations.

Please go ahead.

Shanye Hudson

Thank you, Douglas. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to Lam Research Corporation's quarterly conference call. With me today are Martin Anstice, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Ernie Maddock, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Shortly, Ernie will discuss financial results for the June 2012 quarter and outline some of the impacts associated with our Novellus acquisition. Martin will then share Lam's business outlook for the September 2012 quarter and combined company guidance before opening up the call for Q&A.

The press release detailing our financial results was distributed over the wire services shortly after 1 p.m. this afternoon and is available on our website at

Today's call contains certain forward-looking statements including those related to our expectations for the global macroeconomic environment of market size; wafer fab equipment spending; market share changes; consumer demand, customer spending and behavior and the factors that will influence those expectations as well as our spending projections; our investment plans; our business strategies; our aspirations of the benefits with our merger with Novellus; our intentions for research and development activities, our contemplated tax rate and our forecast of market shares, shipments, revenues, expenses, margins operating profits, share repurchase activities, earnings per share and cash generation on both a GAAP and a non-GAAP basis, as well as other statements of the company's expectations, beliefs and plans.

There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements, and a list of these factors can be found in the slide package accompanying this conference call and on our most recent Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

All forward-looking statements are based on current information and the company assumes no obligation to update any of them. This call is scheduled to last until 3:00 p.m. and we ask that you please limit questions to one per firm with a brief follow-up. With that, I'll turn the call over to you, Ernie.

Ernest E. Maddock

Thank you, Shanye, and good afternoon, everyone. The June quarter marks an important milestone in the history of Lam Research. As you know on June 4, we successfully completed the acquisition of Novellus Systems. Our combined financial results, which are reflected in the press release issued earlier today, include only 20 days of Novellus activity. With that in mind, I'd like to begin my remarks today by reviewing Lam's standalone performance for the June quarter as it relates to the guidance we've provided on our April call.

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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