Full-year 2015 sales at ASML were a record € 6.3 billion with a gross margin of 46.1 percent. Q4 net sales of € 1.43 billion, gross margin 46.0 percent. ASML proposes dividend of EUR 1.05 per share and announces plan for additional share repurchases of € 1 billion in 2016-2017.
ASML guides Q1 2016 net sales at approximately € 1.3 billion and a gross margin of around 42 percent.
[press release by ASML]
“Our full-year 2015 net sales marked a new record at EUR 6.3 billion, up from EUR 5.9 billion in 2014, including service and field option sales that rose to a record EUR 2 billion. We expect 2016 first-quarter sales at approximately EUR 1.3 billion. As we indicated three months ago, we expect our logic customers to take shipments of our leading edge immersion tools in the second quarter in preparation of their 10 nanometer node ramp. As a result, we expect second-quarter sales to increase significantly from the first-quarter level,” ASML President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said.
Product and Business Highlights
- In Deep-Ultraviolet (DUV) lithography, we began ramping shipments of the TWINSCAN NXT:1980, our most advanced immersion system, in the fourth quarter, shipping five systems. The installation of the first systems is complete.
- In Holistic Lithography, which grew by over 20 percent in revenue in 2015, we saw increased adoption of our latest metrology systems and control software at both logic and memory customers. These applications play a more and more critical role in helping our customers achieve the best possible patterning performance on advanced nodes.
- Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography met its 2015 productivity and availability targets. We had already achieved a productivity of more than 1,000 wafers per day early in 2015 on the NXE:3300B system and improved this to more than 1,250 wafers per day in the fourth quarter on the successor system, the NXE:3350B. In addition, the availability of systems in the field improved, with the majority of systems achieving a four-week availability of more than 70 percent in recent months; the best result was more than 80 percent over four weeks. We also shipped two of our latest NXE:3350B EUV systems and started shipping the third in 2015. They will be used in our customers’ fabs for preparing the introduction of EUV into volume production. Our goals for 2016 are to continue improving productivity and availability and shipping six to seven EUV systems.
For the first-quarter of 2016, ASML expects net sales at approximately EUR 1.3 billion, a gross margin of around 42%, R&D costs of about EUR 275 million, other income of about EUR 23 million — which consists of contributions from participants of the Customer Co-Investment Program –, SG&A costs of about EUR 90 million and an effective annualized tax rate of around 13%.
Dividend and new Share Buyback Program
In accordance with its financial policy, ASML intends to continue to return excess cash to shareholders on a regular basis through stable or growing dividends and share buyback programs.
Supported by its long term business plan, ASML proposes a dividend per ordinary share which is 50 percent higher compared with last year. Therefore, we will submit a proposal to the 2016 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) to declare a dividend in respect of 2015 of EUR 1.05 per ordinary share (for a total amount of approximately EUR 450 million), compared with a dividend of EUR 0.70 per ordinary share paid in respect of 2014.
ASML also announces a new share buyback program, to be executed within the 2016-2017 time frame. As part of this program, ASML intends to purchase shares up to EUR 1.5 billion, which includes an amount of approximately EUR 500 million remaining from the prior program, announced on January 21, 2015. ASML intends to cancel the shares upon repurchase. This buyback program will start on January 21, 2016.
The share buyback program will be executed within the limitations of the existing authority granted by the AGM on April 22, 2015 and of the authority granted by future AGMs. The share buyback program may be suspended, modified or discontinued at any time. All transactions under this program will be published on ASML’s website (www.asml.com/investors) on a weekly basis.
ASML is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. Our vision is to enable affordable microelectronics that improve the quality of life. To achieve this, our mission is to invent and develop advanced technology for high-tech lithography, metrology and software solutions for the semiconductor industry. ASML’s guiding principle is continuing Moore’s Law towards ever smaller, cheaper, more powerful and energy-efficient semiconductors. This results in increasingly powerful and capable electronics that enable the world to progress within a multitude of fields, including healthcare, technology, communications, energy, mobility, and entertainment. We are a multinational company with over 70 locations in 16 countries, headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands.We employ more than 14,000 people on payroll and flexible contracts (expressed in full time equivalents). ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ under the symbol ASML.