2023.09.27 20:48
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Top analyst pours cold water on ASML: EUV equipment shipment forecast for next year may be significantly revised down by 20-30%.

On Wednesday, according to the latest investigation by renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from Tianfeng International, it is suggested that ASML, a Dutch company, may significantly lower its shipment forecast for EUV equipment in 2024 by about 20-30%. The main reason for this substantial downward revision by Ming-Chi Kuo is the lower-than-expected demand for related products from companies such as Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Intel.

On Wednesday, Guo Mingji, a well-known analyst at TF International Securities, released his latest research report, suggesting that ASML, a Dutch company, may significantly lower its shipment forecast for EUV equipment in 2024 by about 20-30%.

Guo Mingji's predictions are based on the following reasons:

  • Apple's demand for 3nm chips in 2024 is lower than expected. The shipments of Apple's MacBook and iPad are expected to decline significantly by about 30% and 22% respectively in 2023, to 17 million units and 48 million units. The significant decline is due to the end of the work-from-home demand and the diminishing attractiveness of new product features such as Apple chips and Mini-LED display technology. Looking ahead to 2024, the lack of growth drivers for MacBook and iPad is unfavorable for the demand of Apple's 3nm chips.
  • Qualcomm's demand for 3nm chips in 2024 is lower than expected.
  • Samsung's demand for 3GAP+ and Intel's demand for 20A products is lower than expected.
  • Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix do not have plans for memory expansion until 2025-2027 at the earliest.

ASML's stock price rose slightly on Wednesday, with a year-to-date increase of about 4.5%, which is far behind the overall performance of the technology sector this year.

ASML's financial report for the second quarter of 2023, announced in July this year, showed that the company achieved a net sales of 6.9 billion euros, a year-on-year increase of 2.3%; net profit was 1.9 billion euros, a slight decrease of about 0.7%, and the gross margin was 51.3%.

Peter Wennink, President and CEO of ASML, previously stated that from reports from some end markets, it can be seen that although some markets are about to rebound, it also indicates that the company's customers are still in a high inventory phase. In terms of EUV business, the demand pace of some customers has changed, mainly because their wafer fabs are not fully prepared due to technical reasons, and there are concerns about the duration of the market downturn.

Recently, Apple's new iPhone 15 is equipped with TSMC's A17 Pro chip, which is the first application of TSMC's 3nm process on top-tier chips. However, many industry insiders believe that the actual value of 3nm chips still needs to be improved based on the current application scenarios. Some people pointed out that the performance improvement of the A17 processor produced by TSMC did not meet expectations compared to the previous generation, so there are increasing doubts about its 3nm process.

As Apple enters the era of 3nm mobile processors, the competition among semiconductor foundries for cutting-edge semiconductor applications is accelerating. Qualcomm plans to launch the fourth-generation Snapdragon 8 processor based on the 3nm process in 2024. Samsung is expected to launch the Exynos 2400 using the 4nm process at the end of this year, start mass production of the second-generation 3nm process semiconductor next year, and develop new products using the 3nm process by the end of next year. Guo Mingchi also stated on the same day that the current market consensus is that the semiconductor industry will hit bottom in the second half of this year. However, he believes that it is necessary to closely observe whether the bottoming time will be postponed to the first half of next year or the second quarter of next year.