Mattson Technology's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Mattson Technology (MTSN)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 01, 2012 4:30 pm ET


Laura Guerrant-Oiye -

David L. Dutton - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Michael Dodson -


Edwin Mok - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Christian D. Schwab - Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division

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

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



Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Mattson Technology Fourth Quarter and Year End 2011 Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Laura Guerrant, Mattson Technology's Investor Relations Consultant.

Laura Guerrant-Oiye

Thank you, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today to discuss Mattson Technology's financial results for the 2011 fourth quarter and year end, which ended December 31, 2011. In addition to outlining the company's financial results for the quarter, we will also provide guidance for the first quarter of 2012.

On today's call are Dave Dutton, Mattson Technology's President and Chief Executive Officer; and Mike Dodson, the company's Chief Financial Officer. Before turning the call over to Dave, I'd like to remind everyone that information provided in today's conference call contains forward-looking statements regarding the company's future prospects including, but not limited to, anticipated market position, revenue, margins, earnings per share, tax rate and fully diluted shares outstanding for future periods. Forward-looking statements address matters that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in today's news release and in the company's Forms 10-K, 10-Q, and other filings with the SEC. The company assumes no obligation to update the information provided in this conference call.

And with that, I'd like to turn the call over to Dave. Dave?

David L. Dutton

Thank you, Laura, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us for our fourth quarter 2011 and year end financial results conference call. In today's call, I will give you an overview of the business, then Mike will provide the financial results and progress to our cost improvement program. And last, I will close with our business outlook and guidance.

We experienced improved visibility from our customers in the fourth quarter of 2011, resulting in stronger order growth and performance at the top end of our fourth quarter 2011 guidance, enabling Mattson Technology to end 2011 with 34% growth over 2010.

In 2011, the macroeconomic environment remained cautious due to the European debt crisis, the slow U.S. economic growth, slowing growth in Asia and supply chain disruptions caused by the natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. These global uncertainties kept our customers' capital investments cautious, with most spending at the leading edge, focused on mobility products. This uncertain environment resulted in a slower rate for fab equipment growth through the year.

Looking into 2012, we are seeing modest global growth, with risk in the European Community and continued slowing in Asia. Helping to mitigate these issues is the slowly improving U.S. economy.

In 2012, further demand in mobility products such as tablets and smartphones, along with growth in emerging markets, is helping to drive IC demand in the NAND and some advanced foundry areas. We expect PC growth to remain soft, with possible upside from new ultrabooks.

Even though wafer fab equipment spending is forecasted to be flat to down slightly in 2012, our new position and the increasing customer visibility have us cautiously optimistic that 2012 will be another growth year for Mattson Technology.

Now let's turn to our results. Despite the volatile year, we solidified our new product positions and grew our existing strip position significantly. The fourth quarter was an extremely productive quarter for Mattson Technology, especially with our RTP foundry wins.

I will now review our progress in each product area for both the quarter and the year, starting with our Etch products.

We continue to book and ship numbers of our Etch tools, further extending into new applications. We shipped volume orders of the new paradigmE Si for silicon etch applications. We also announced our first paradigmE shipment to a CMOS image-sensor customer for advanced etching of the microlens. This marked the fifth customer to which we have shipped our Etch products.

Early in 2012, we received acceptance of our paradigmE at a customer's foundry facility, and Etch has now officially achieved production acceptance in DRAM, NAND and foundry areas. In 2011, we grew Etch 77% over 2010. And it now contributes approximately 34% of our total revenue.

Now let's turn to strip which continued its strong market presence. During the quarter, we shipped our strip tools to foundry, NAND and CMOS image-sensor customers. The Suprema is one of the most flexible strip tools for our customers and has contributed to greater than 75% growth in 2011 over 2010.

Our strip products are engaged in standard strip, high-k/metal gate cleaning and advanced high-dose implant strip applications at leading edge production lines throughout the world. Our RTP business showed dramatic improvement in customer positions as we exited 2011.

In the fourth quarter, we gained acceptance at 2 more foundries for our Helios XP, which makes a total of 3 foundries that have accepted and are now using the Helios XP for production of today's devices. The Helios XP has gained even more applications as the leading edge for future technology nodes.

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