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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights Axcelis, MKS Instruments and Kulicke and Soffa Industries

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 8, 2023 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses Axcelis (ACLS - Free Report) , MKS Instruments (MKSI - Free Report) and Kulicke and Soffa Industries (KLIC - Free Report) .

Industry: Electronics


The Zacks Electronics - Manufacturing Machinery industry participants are benefiting from increased capital spending on high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, mobility, augmented reality and virtual reality, advanced packaging, lithography, and wet processing solutions by semiconductor manufacturers. The ongoing transformation in the cloud computing and automotive end markets is noteworthy. Axcelis, MKS Instruments and Kulicke and Soffa Industries are gaining from the above-mentioned trends. 

These companies provide solutions to semiconductor manufacturers and OEMs. Strength in cloud & data centers, healthcare and automotive has been the key catalysts for these industry participants. Improving supply chain conditions bodes well for these industry players.

Industry Description

The Zacks Electronics - Manufacturing Machinery industry comprises companies that provide a range of solutions to address the needs of wafer processing facilities, as well as device packaging and test facilities, of semiconductor manufacturing processes. The solutions offered by the industry participants include thin-film processing systems, photonics, process-control tools (that perform macro defect inspections and metrology), metal organic chemical vapor deposition, advanced packaging lithography, wet etch and clean, laser annealing and 3D wafer inspection systems. 

A few industry participants also offer micro-contamination control products and advanced material-handling solutions. Notably, contamination-free transportation, storage and delivery of materials have gained immense significance in recent times.

3 Trends Shaping the Future of the Electronics Industry

Miniaturization Enhances Prospects: Industry participants are benefiting from the ongoing transition in semiconductor manufacturing technology. The demand for advanced packaging, which enables the miniaturization of electronic products, remains strong. The consistent shift to smaller dimensions and the rapid adoption of new device architecture like FinFET transistors and 3D-NAND, along with the increasing utilization of new manufacturing materials to increase transistor and bit density, are driving the demand for solutions provided by the industry players. 

Moreover, the emergence of techniques like wafer-level packaging is driving the need for a high-purity manufacturing environment free of contaminants. The rising demand for clean processing, as well as wafer carrier cleaning and conditioning tools, is a key catalyst for the industry participants.

Complex Process Driving Demand: The requirement for faster, more powerful and energy-efficient semiconductors is expected to increase rapidly with the robust adoption of cloud computing, IoT and AI. Semiconductor manufacturers like Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductors are primarily looking to maximize manufacturing yields at lower costs. This is making semiconductor manufacturing processes more complex and driving the demand for solutions offered by industry participants. The rapid adoption of IoT-supported factory automation solutions is another contributing factor. The increasing deployment of 5G and the growing demand for edge computing are other key catalysts.

NAND, DRAM & SSD Demand Strong: The improving demand for NAND and DRAM is a positive for the industry participants. Strong SSD demand, driven by data center and cloud spending, is another key catalyst. DRAM is expected to benefit from strong demand in the data center, enterprise and cloud segments. Strong demand for chips and higher spending on semiconductor capital equipment are aiding the industry participants.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright Prospects

The Zacks Electronics - Manufacturing Machinery industry is housed within the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #108, which places it in the top 43% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group's Zacks Industry Rank, which is the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bright near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than two to one.

The industry's position in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of the positive earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are optimistic about this group's earnings growth potential. Since Apr 30, 2023, the industry's earnings estimates for the current year have increased 15%.

Given the bright industry outlook, a number of stocks are worth watching. However, before we present the stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let's take a look at the industry's recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.

Industry Beats Sector and S&P 500

The Zacks Electronics - Manufacturing Machinery industry has outperformed the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector and the S&P 500 composite over the past year.

The industry has returned 42.3% over this period compared with the S&P 500's growth of 18.2% and the broader sector's increase of 41.3%.

Industry's Current Valuation

On the basis of the trailing 12-month EV/EBITDA ratio, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing Electronics - Manufacturing Machinery companies, we see that the industry is trading at 8.56X compared with the S&P 500's 13.42X. It is below the sector's trailing 12-month EV/EBITDA of 12.73X.

Over the last five years, the industry traded as high as 17.78X and as low as 4.98X, with the median being 11.87X.

3 Electronics Stocks to Watch Right Now

Axcelis– This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company is primarily a producer of ion implantation equipment used to fabricate semiconductor chips in the United States, Europe and Asia. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Headquartered in Beverly, MA, Axcelis is riding on the strong demand for the Purion product family, particularly in the high-growth silicon carbide power segment.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Axcelis' 2023 earnings has been steady at $6.99 per share over the past 30 days. Shares have returned 140.7% year to date.

MKS Instruments: This Andover, MA-based company is gaining from the growing adoption of its solutions, which are used in the majority of the steps needed to manufacture a semiconductor chip. It is benefiting from the strong adoption of Photonics solutions.

MKS Instruments' Photonics business is benefiting from the strong demand for its advanced lithography, metrology and inspection applications.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company's 2023 earnings has increased 1.6% to $3.72 per share over the past 30 days. Shares have returned 15.5% year to date.

Kulicke and Soffa Industries: This Zacks Rank #3 company designs, manufactures and sells capital equipment and tools used to assemble semiconductor devices, including integrated circuits, high and low-powered discrete devices, light-emitting diodes and power modules.

Kulicke and Soffa benefits from its strong portfolio. It continues to see gradual demand improvements across the ball bonder market. KLIC anticipates more meaningful demand recovery as the macro environment improves and inventory is digested throughout the electronics value chain.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for KLIC's 2023 earnings has increased 13.1% to $1.73 per share over the past 30 days. Shares have returned 14.1% year to date.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit  for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

See More Zacks Research for These Tickers

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MKS Instruments, Inc. (MKSI) - free report >>

Axcelis Technologies, Inc. (ACLS) - free report >>

Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc. (KLIC) - free report >>

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