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Lam Research expects strong momentum to continue as foundries build capacity

Lam Research Corp. late Wednesday topped Wall Street expectations on its quarterly results and forecast a stronger-than-expected outlook given capacity constraints at chip foundries.

Lam LRCX, -6.81%, which makes the instruments that foundries use to fabricate silicon wafers, reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $869.2 million, or $5.96 a share, compared with $514.5 million, or $3.43 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude deferred compensation-related assets and other items, were $6.03 a share, compared with $4.01 a share in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose to $3.46 billion from $2.58 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast $5.72 a share on revenue of $3.34 billion.

“With strong secular demand for semiconductors driving increased wafer fabrication equipment spending, Lam enters 2021 with solid momentum for continued growth and expanded leadership across our markets,” said Tim Archer, Lam’s chief executive, in a statement.

Chip foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. TSM, -3.88% are investing heavily in new equipment to meet supply constraints throughout the chip industry.

Lam forecast adjusted earnings of $6.15 to $6.95 a share on revenue of $3.5 billion to $3.9 billion for the fiscal third quarter. Analysts had estimated $5.75 a share on revenue of $3.32 billion.

Lam shares tossed between slight gains and slight losses after hours, following a 6.8% drop in the regular session to close at $515.04.

Over the past 12 months, Lam shares have gained 75%, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index SOX, -5.17% has advanced 56%, the S&P 500 index SPX, -2.57% has gained 16%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -2.61% has grown 45%.

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