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Applied Materials Down 5% on Foundry Weakness; NAND Story Shines

Shares of chip equipment giant Applied Materials (AMAT) are down 76 cents, or almost 5%, at $16.29, after the company yesterday afternoon missed fiscal Q3 revenue expectations and forecast this quarter below consensus as well.

During his talk with the Street following the report, CEO Gary Dickerson offered some cautious comments for the outlook by major chip vendors for spending, noting customers are focusing on the bleeding edge more than they are spending to boost current production:

While progress towards our strategic goals and financial model remains on track, changes in the business environment over the past few weeks have created some near-term headwinds. Looking at the market as a whole, we now see 2015 wafer fab equipment spending being approximately flat relative to 2014, with potential downside risk. The most substantial revision to our outlook is foundry spending, where we have lowered our estimates for the remainder of the calendar year. This is primarily due to customers managing excess inventory, improving their yields, and reusing equipment. While we see a pause in capacity additions, the leading foundries are still aggressively pursuing 10-nanometer technology, and we expect this to become a key battleground in 2016 with the build-out of pilot production.

There are no ratings changes that I can see today, but some price target cuts here and there. The company is seen by analysts as generally better positioned at the moment than its peer KLA Tencor (KLAC), but not as strong as Lam Research (LRCX).

KLA stock is down 76...


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