On the call today are Gideon Argov, President and CEO; Bertrand Loy, Chief Operating Officer; and Greg Graves, Chief Financial Officer.Before turning the call to Gideon, I do want to let everyone know that Entegris will be holding an Analyst Day on May 23 in New York City. You can contact me for more information about that event. And with that, Gideon will now begin the call. Gideon Argov Thank you, Steve, and good morning, and thank you for joining the call. We had a strong start to the year and have a number of reasons to be pleased with our performance in the first quarter. We achieved sales growth of 7% for the fourth quarter of 2011 and continue to see strong demand for our products used to support leading-edge processes. We executed well, and achieved solid financial results, improved our adjusted operating margins to 16.7% and recorded cash earnings per share of $0.14. And in addition, we made investments to extend our technological leadership for years to come. I have more to say about this in a moment. Looking at our revenue trends in the quarter. We continue to benefit from technology-driven spending by leading semiconductor device makers and ramping production of 28-nanometer fabs. We believe utilization rate of 2X nodes for many of our key fab customers with 90% to 100%. While on legacy side of the industry, utilization rates range between 50% and 70%. Overall, utilization wafer starts in the industry appear to be down in the quarter, according to most industry analysts. We clearly benefit from the industry's adoption of advanced processes and we've seen broad-based demand increase in the quarter for a number of filtration and fluid handling products for wet etch and clean application and for our advance FOUPs for wafer handling. These products have proven themselves to be essential to address the yield issues typically come with implementing new and highly complex processes. Although we're addressing this advanced contamination control needs with both unit driven and capital driven products, our mix of sales of 65% unit driven and 35% capital driven did shift slightly to the unit side.
Unit driven sales were up 8% boosted by double-digit growth of liquid filters. Sales of other unit driven products, such as electrostatic shocks for both semiconductors, as well as solar ion implant tools remained strong. CapEx related sales grew 4% due to continuing firm demand for advanced 300 millimeter FOUPs and sales of fluid handling components for new tools for fab construction projects.Looking at our business by market. Our semiconductor-related sales represented 74% of total, an increase of 7% from the fourth quarter. As I've just described, the increase was largely due to demand for advanced products. Revenue in our markets outside semiconductor represented 26% of our total and increased 6% from the fourth quarter. The picture in these markets is more uneven. Several of these adjacent markets, such as flat-panel display, remain weak while others, such as LED and Solar, are still digesting excess capacity built in 2011. But even with these trends, our non-SEMI business has performed relatively well. Outlook for 2012 certainly appears brighter than it did 6 months ago. While the industry and economic forecast second half of this year are still unclear and business is off to a strong start with momentum for further growth in the second quarter. Looking beyond 2012, we feel confident about our prospects. We have a full pipeline of opportunities. Many of these opportunities relate to helping our customers stay on their own technology roadmaps for 1x and even single-digit technology nodes. The contamination issues of these nodes are requiring us to work either more closely with industry leaders and to push the boundaries of physics. In this regard we made progress in several strategic initiatives. First, advanced filtration coatings we announced recently the creation of our i2M Center for Advanced Materials Science, new R&D and manufacturing center we built in Massachusetts. This facility will house our existing membrane manufacturing, portions of our membrane development and our coatings manufacturing, as well as R&D. Putting these technologies under one roof will create one of the most advanced nanotech centers in the world and will enable us to continue to create differentiated, high-value, unit driven products for the most advanced and demanding semiconductor application. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com