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Lam Research (LRCX) Up 14.5% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Lam Research (LRCX - Free Report) . Shares have added about 14.5% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Lam Research due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Lam Research Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates

Lam Research reported first-quarter fiscal 2022 non-GAAP earnings of $8.36 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.8%. The figure increased 47.4% year over year.

Revenues improved 35.5% year over year to $4.304 billion.

However, the figure lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.305 billion.

Year-over-year revenue growth was driven by well-performing systems and the customer support business.

In the reported quarter, the company witnessed strong momentum across 3D NAND manufacturers for critical applications. Its foundry and logic segment performed well, owing to the growing traction among etch and deposition technologies. Moreover, strong wins for conductor etch and selective etch applications were positives. All these drove growth in the company’s system revenues, which were $2.9 billion (68% of total revenues), up 36.2% from the year-ago quarter.

Solid semiconductor demand across automotive, healthcare and security sectors along with high fab utilization drove top-line growth for the company’s Customer Support Business Group. Further, robust Reliant business contributed well. Customer support-related revenues and others for the reported quarter were $1.4 billion (32%), up 34.1% year over year.

For 2021, WFE spending is estimated to be in the mid-$80 billion, driven by strength across NAND, DRAM, and Foundry and Logic.

Increasing device and manufacturing complexity along with the rising semiconductor demand remains a tailwind.

Regions in Detail

China, Korea and Taiwan accounted for 37%, 21% and 15% of the company’s total fiscal first-quarter revenues, respectively. Then again, Japan, Southeast Asia, the United States and Europe accounted for 11%, 8%, 6% and 2%, respectively.

Operating Details

The non-GAAP gross margin was 46%, which contracted 150 basis points (bps) year over year.

Non-GAAP operating expenses were $586.5 million, reflecting an increase of 12.1% from the prior-year quarter. However, as a percentage of revenues, the figure contracted 290 bps year over year to 13.6%.

The non-GAAP operating margin was 32.4%, expanding 130 bps from the year-ago quarter.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

As of Sep 26, 2021, cash and cash equivalents as well as short-term investments decreased to $4.6 billion from $5.7 billion as of Jun 27, 2021.

Cash flow from operating activities was $457.5 million in the reported quarter, down from $1.4 billion in the previous quarter. Capital expenditure was $136.4 million in the fiscal first-quarter 2022, up from $105 million in the fiscal fourth-quarter 2021.

In the reported quarter, Lam Research paid out dividends of $185.4 million and repurchased shares worth $1.2 billion.

Guidance

For second-quarter fiscal 2022, the company expects revenues of $4.4 billion (+/- $250 million).

The non-GAAP gross margin is projected at 46% (+/-1%) and the non-GAAP operating margin is expected to be 32% (+/-1%).

Non-GAAP earnings are projected at $8.45 (+/- 50 cents) per share on a share count of 142 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, Lam Research has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. It comes with little surprise Lam Research has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.


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