Strong Q2 orders boost Aixtron shares despite lowered outlook

(Reuters) – Shares in Aixtron soared 16% on Friday after a strong second-quarter order intake soothed concerns over weak demand from the key electric vehicles end-market, even as the German chip systems manufacturer cut its sales forecast for the year.

The company, which supplies deposition equipment for chipmakers, lowered its outlook late on Thursday citing “current market developments” without specifying, and an expected currency exchange effect from converting U.S. dollars into euros.

Berenberg said in a note that Aixtron’s key silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitrate (GaN) end-markets would likely remain weak in the near term, but noted the expectations were already low amid weak demand for EVs and negative newsflow in the wider power electronics industry.

“The guidance revision for 2024 is not a surprise as power semi customers have slowed down their capex expansion plans over the past few quarters,” Stifel analyst Juergen Wagner said in a note.

Both analysts highlighted the strong preliminary order intake for the second quarter, and Wagner said the stock might bounce on Friday thanks to that.

Aixtron’s quarterly order intake was around 176 million euros ($190.5 million), versus 177.9 million a year earlier, with around 58% and 29% of those coming from power electronics based on SiC and GaN, respectively.

Wagner said the figure was 24% above Visible Alpha consensus.

Aixtron now expects revenue of between 620 million and 660 million euros for the full year, down from the previous range of 630 million to 720 million euros.

($1 = 0.9240 euros)

(Reporting by Ozan Ergenay in Gdansk; editing by Milla Nissi)


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