ASML

(ASML) - Get Report

posted solidly higher second-quarter earnings Wednesday. Investors focused on a 70% swoon in the dollar value of its new bookings, however, and sent the stock lower in early trading.

The Dutch chip-equipment maker earned about $137 million on sales of $930.9 million in the second quarter. In the year-ago quarter, earnings were about $79 million on sales of $751.5 million. The company cited improved volume and average selling prices.

Still, the quarter represented a slight sequential deterioration. ASML shipped 44 new systems and seven refurbished ones in the second quarter, down from 50 new systems and nine refurbished ones in the first quarter. Backlog at the end of the second quarter totaled 80 systems, down from 107 at the end of the first quarter.

More problematically, the value of ASML's bookings in the second quarter was $362.3 million, down from $1.20 billion a year earlier. The company booked 24 new system orders in the latest quarter compared with 83 in the year-ago quarter. It expects to ship 38 new systems in the third quarter.

The stock was down 36 cents to $16.43.

"Second-quarter bookings at 24 units were low, confirming the backlog correction which we expected at the beginning of the quarter," the company said. "We are confident, however, that we will book more systems in the third quarter of 2005 than in the second quarter, as encouraging signs include the level of booking activity at the beginning of the quarter and developing utilization improvements from traditional ASML customers."