Boosted by foundry and logic IC manufacturers spending habits over the winter months, the SEMI book-to-bill ratio continued a 4-month recovery in January with a 0.95 ratio. North America-based semiconductor equipment suppliers posted US$1.18 billion in orders in the first month of the year, which could have been higher if there were any lithography companies based in the US.
Though bookings and billings remain below 2011 levels, January’s preliminary booking figure is on par with August 2011 levels. Coupled to key equipment suppliers recent comments regarding expected spending in 2012, the upwards trend started in December, 2011 looks set to continue in the first-half of the year.
“In January 2012, North American equipment makers experienced their fourth consecutive month of improvement in orders,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “While year-over-year bookings and billings are lower than in 2011, the current outlook for equipment spending in 2012 has improved over the past couple of months.”
The three-month average of worldwide bookings in January were US$1.18 billion, 7% above the prior month bookings of $1.10 billion, which were adjusted higher than previous preliminary figures were released. However, bookings were also 22.1% below the US$1.51 billion in orders posted in January 2011.
The three-month average of worldwide billings in January 2012 was US$1.24 billion, down 4.7%, compared to the previous month and 30.7% less than the January 2011 billings level of US$1.79 billion.