Lam Research (LRCX)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

October 19, 2011 5:00 pm ET


Martin B. Anstice - President and Chief Operating Officer

Stephen G. Newberry - Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

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

Shanye Hudson - Director of Investor Relations


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

Stephen Chin - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Wenge Yang - Oppenheimer

James Covello - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Christopher J. Muse - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Satya Kumar - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Krish Sankar - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Edwin Mok - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

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

Atif Malik - Morgan Stanley, Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Lam Research Corporation September 2011 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, Alicia. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to Lam Research Corporation's Quarterly Conference Call. With me today are Steve Newberry, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board; Martin Anstice, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Ernie Maddock, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Shortly, Ernie will discuss financial results for the September 2011 quarter. Steve will then share Lam's business outlook for the December 2011 quarter 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 also available on our website at

Today's call contains certain forward-looking statements, including those related to our expectations of market size; GDP; consumer demand; consumer spending and behavior and the factors that influence those expectations, as well as our investment plans; our intentions for research and development activities; our contemplated tax rates and our forecast of market share; shipments; revenues; expenses; margins; operating profits; collections; share repurchase activities; earnings per share and cash generation, 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 those 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 p.m. [Operator Instructions]

With that, I'll turn the call over to you, Ernie.

Ernest E. Maddock

Thank you, Shanye. Good afternoon. I'll comment on our September quarter results, which reflect performance within our guidance ranges for all financial measures. For the quarter, shipments were $580 million, down 27% from the prior quarter and in line with the midpoint of our guidance. Application and market segment breakdown for the quarter were as follows: applications at 65-nanometer and below represented 95% of overall system shipments, while 90% of overall system shipments were for applications at 45-nanometer and below. System shipments for NAND were 40% of overall system shipments, followed by DRAM at 13% and other memory at 5%, making the total memory segment 58% of the overall system shipments. Foundry shipments represented 24% of overall system shipments, and the remaining 18% were for logic and other.

Revenues for the September quarter were approximately $680 million, down 10% sequentially and above our guidance midpoint with good performance across both systems and service products. Gross margin was 41.7% versus our guidance midpoint of 42%, attributable to product mix and lower factory utilization associated with business volumes. Gross margin for the June quarter was 45%.

Total non-GAAP operating expenses were $183 million, up $3 million from the June quarter as we continue making the R&D investments that we've discussed over the past few quarters. We believe that these investments are critical in ensuring that we remain well positioned, and we will sustain and increase these investments, as appropriate, to ensure that we're able to provide best-in-breed technology solutions to our customers over the upcoming technology inflections.

Non-GAAP operating income was $101 million, which resulted in a non-GAAP operating margin of 14.9% near the high end of our guidance range. During the September quarter, our non-GAAP tax rate was 19.6%, which is higher than the mid-teen rate we anticipated. The change in tax rate is driven by the current business outlook, and we currently expect the tax rate in the higher teens as we look to the December quarter.

Based on a share count of approximately 124 million shares, non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.63, in line with the midpoint of our guidance range. Our EPS was favorably impacted by our operating results and a reduced share count resulting from our share repurchase activity, and this favorability was offset by the higher tax rate. On a GAAP basis, our earnings per share were $0.58.

Turning to the balance sheet, we ended the September quarter with cash and short-term investments including restricted cash of $2.2 billion. Days outstanding for the quarter was 70 days, down one day from the June quarter and inventory turns were 4.0, down from 4.2 in the June quarter. Deferred revenue at the end of the quarter decreased from the June quarter to $180 million and excludes $43 million of shipments to Japanese customers that will revenue in future quarters. Equity compensation expense was $18 million, while depreciation and amortization was $21 million, and capital expenditures were $16 million. We ended the quarter with about 3,750 regular full-time employees.

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