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Amkor Technology, inc (AMKR) Q2 2021 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool

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Amkor Technology, inc (NASDAQ:AMKR)
Q2 2021 Earnings Call
Jul 26, 2021, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Amkor Technology Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Diego and I will be your conference facilitator today. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the call over to Jennifer Jue, Head of Investor Relations. Thank you. Ms. Jue, please go ahead.

Jennifer JueSenior Director, Investor Relations and Finance

Thank you, operator. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us for Amkor’s second quarter 2021 earnings conference call.

Joining me today are Giel Rutten, our Chief Executive Officer; and Megan Faust, our Chief Financial Officer. Our earnings press release was filed with the SEC this afternoon and is available on the Investor Relations page of our website, along with the presentation slides that accompany today’s call.

During this presentation, we will use non-GAAP financial measures and you can find the reconciliation to the US GAAP equivalent on our website. We will make forward-looking statements about our expectations for Amkor’s future performance based on the environment as we currently see it. Of course, actual results could differ. Please refer to our press release and other SEC filings for information on risk factors, uncertainties and exceptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from these expectations. Please note that the financial results discussed today are preliminary and final data will be included in our Form 10-Q.

And now, I would like to turn the call over to Giel.

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Jennifer. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining the call today.

Today, I will review our second quarter performance and will provide the outlook for third quarter. I will also make a few comments on dynamics in the markets and technologies that Amkor is well positioned for future growth.

We delivered solid financial results in the second quarter with an all-time quarterly revenue record of $1.41 billion, above the high end of guidance and an increase of 20% year-on-year and 6% sequentially. Following a strong first quarter, continued momentum resulted in better-than-expected performance in all end markets, most notably communications and consumer where we saw a sequential increase of 6% and 9%, respectively. High factory utilization for our advanced technology portfolio and continued improvement in our mainstream business resulted in a record second quarter EPS of $0.51.

The 6% sequential growth in communications exceeded our expectations after a strong first quarter in the segment. Year-on-year, our communications business grew 28%, representing 40% of total quarterly revenue. For the full year of 2021, we expect continued growth in this business, driven by the strength in the smartphone market, particularly in 5G with current industry forecast of over 500 million 5G enabled smartphones to be built this year.

Amkor has a leading position in the 5G RF domain. And over recent years, we have established a proven technology portfolio to address the advanced requirements needed to enable 5G. With our VS [Phonetic] and BGA advanced SiP platform, we have established a preferred advanced packaging solution for this demanding application. Amkor’s industry leading design rules, dual-sided molding technology, conformal shielding together with in-line RF testing deliver best-in-class integration levels in the high volume, high yield manufacturing process. We continue to develop technology and manufacturing scale to support our customers in this growing market segments.

In the automotive and industrial market, we achieved another quarterly revenue records. Year-on-year growth of 33% underlines the recovery in this end markets. Some supply chain constraints, especially in the wafer and substrate supply dampened the even further growth. We continue to see strength in the mainstream part of our automotive portfolio and have received several customer endorsements, especially for the quality and delivery performance in our Philippines factories.

In the advanced product part of our portfolio, we ran several new products in the automotive sensor domain. For radar sensors, we utilized wafer level fan-out technology in our Portugal factory. Customers are rapidly adopting this technology due to the strict requirements of radar sensors. In addition to the growing sensor market, we also ran several new products targeting the automotive high power domain, accelerated by the growth of the EV market. For the second half of the year, we anticipate the automotive supply chain will gradually improve, resulting in further growth. Beyond the second half, we believe the growth drivers in this market remain in place, and we expect that semiconductor content per car will further increase due to accelerated proliferation of driver assistance electronics and the electrification of more car models.

Strength in the consumer market resulted in a better-than-expected sequential increase of 9%. We continue to diversify our product and customer portfolio in IoT wearables and ran [Phonetic] several new products in the quarter. We expect this markets will be an important driver of growth and our overall product and customer pipeline for advanced SiP solutions in this domain remains strong. In addition to the wearable market, we also experienced strength in traditional consumer products like gaming, display and video devices, and we expect continued growth going forward.

Revenue in the computing market set another quarterly record, with sequential growth of 6% and year-on-year growth of 21%. We experienced solid performance in all computing applications and a further strengthening of our project pipeline. We are investing in technology and manufacturing scale to capitalize on opportunities across the computing domain, from personal computing to infrastructure and data centers. We see more opportunities in this market in the emerging segments, like AI and high-performance computing, and then the changes brought by the ongoing de-verticalization in this market. Finally, our test business grew 12% year-on-year in the second quarter, as we broaden the scope of our test services for 5G communications and the system level testing, and expand our test attach rates.

To prepare for the volume ramp in the second half of 2021, our manufacturing organization has expanded clean room space and capacity, most notably for advanced packaging in our factories in Korea. Also, we are encouraged by progress in the U.S. on investment policies to incentivize domestic semiconductor manufacturing. The Amkor team is exploring a possible factory location to align with the investments in the U.S. supply chain of other major semiconductor companies.

During the quarter, we increased our capex target for the year to around $775 million, partially an anticipation of some initial investments in a new factory location. Other major investments in 2021 are planned for wafer level and flip chip technology, SiP and test capacity, as well as facility expansions and specific investments to support our Industry 4.0 program.

Now, let me turn to our third quarter outlook. We expect significant growth with revenue of $1.7 billion at the midpoint of guidance. This would represent a sequential increase of 21% and the year-on-year increase of 26%. The ongoing short-term constraints in the supply chain of materials and equipment are expected to continue into the second half of 2021, and we are working closely with our suppliers and customers to help mitigate these risks. For full year 2021, we expect growth in all end markets, particularly communications, and we are well positioned to support the continued recovery in automotive. We remain confident in our strong market position and the overall demand environment and expect to outgrow the semiconductor market in 2021.

Megan will now provide more detailed financial information.

Megan FaustExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Giel, and good afternoon, everyone. Today, I will review our second quarter results and then provide some comments about our third quarter outlook.

Second quarter sales were better than expected, up 6% from the first quarter to an all-time quarterly record of $1.41 billion. All of our end markets experienced growth this quarter. And as Giel noted, revenue in both automotive and industrial, as well as computing were new quarterly records.

Advanced products revenue grew 17% in the first half of 2021 over the same period last year, and represent approximately 70% of our business. Our mainstream products revenue also improved, driven by the recovery in automotive and increased 20% in the first half of 2021 over the same period last year. Advanced SiP products grew double digit sequentially in Q2, primarily in support of the communications and consumer end markets.

With strong growth in both advanced and mainstream products, gross margin grew 300 basis points over prior year Q2 to 19.4%, and gross profit dollars of $273 million is a second quarter record. Material content increased 150 basis points sequentially and cost in support of second half growth moderately constrained gross margin.

Operating expenses for the quarter came in slightly lower than expected at $118 million.

And operating income margin growth outpaced gross margin expansion, increasing 365 basis points year-on-year to 11%.

Net income for the quarter was $126 million, resulting in record Q2 EPS of $0.51.

Q2 EBITDA increased over 40% year-on-year to $295 million, and EBITDA margin was 21%.

We ended the quarter with $885 million of cash and short-term investments, and total liquidity of $1.3 billion. Our solid financial position provides flexibility to continue to invest in growth opportunity.

Moving on to our third quarter outlook. We expect revenue to be between $1.65 billion and $1.75 billion. Gross margin is expected to be between 18.5% and 20.5%. Consistent with historical seasonality, Q3 expectations include a significant increase in communications, driven by advanced SiP products. We expect Q3 operating expenses of around $115 million. Our plans for controlling OpEx in a significant growth environment are expected to contribute to operating income margin expansion of around 150 basis points. We expect full year effective tax rate to be reduced to around 15% due to discrete tax benefits recognized in the first half of 2021 and favorable foreign currency movements. Q3 net income is expected to be between $150 million and $200 million, resulting in EPS of $0.60 to $0.80. This would represent over 80% growth in EPS at the midpoint compared to the prior year quarter. We are increasing our planned capital expenditures to $775 million for the year to meet strong second half demand and for our initial investments in a new factory location. Our target capital intensity remains in the low teens, and we expect free cash flow for 2021 to exceed prior year free cash flow.

With that, we will now open the call up for your questions. Operator?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] And our first question comes from Haas Liu with Credit Suisse. Please state your question.

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

Hi. This is Angela [Phonetic] on behalf of Randy. And congratulations on the great quarter. So, if you can give a little more color on what has drove the strength of your third quarter — what would be driving the strength of your third quarter sales? And [Technical Issues] relative strength and weakness by application and your initial views for 4Q?

Megan FaustExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Hi, Angela. Let’s just clarify the question. There was a little bit of audio on our side. So, I think your question is to add some color with respect to any supply constraints that we might be experiencing heading into the third quarter; two, perhaps expand by application on those supply constraints; and then, whether or not we have any comments as it relates to impact in the fourth quarter. Did I capture your question appropriately?

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

Actually my question is more so around this larger drivers of your performance…

Megan FaustExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Okay. So, end market drivers. Okay, Angela. Giel, would you like to address the end market drivers?

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Angela, let’s try to summarize that. The main catalyst for growth is — certainly in the third quarter is 5G communication, then IoT, specifically IoT wearables, generally automotive, and in automotive, we see strength in the driver assistance features and also in the automotive power domain, and then of course, high-performance computing in general. But if you look specifically into Q3, we see that the communication market is strong. We expect growth both in the volume of smartphones to be sold in the third quarter, as well as an increase in the number of 5G handsets to be sold. Comparing to last year, it is expected that this year 500 million smartphone 5G-enabled handsets will be deployed into the market, which is a doubling compared to last year, and that drives a significant semiconductor content where Amkor has a good position in the RF domain, but also in multiple other components in the 5G smartphones.

Megan FaustExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, Angela, just to add to Giel’s comments to give you some color, our 21% increase for Q3 at the midpoint are — the last five years, we’ve had about 15% increase. So, that significant increase in Q3 we’re expecting, as Giel mentioned, is led by communications. Typically, if you look back at our Q3 performance, you’d see around a 30% increase for communications, and we’re expecting something around 40% for the communications market.

Any follow-up questions, Angela?

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

Yeah, sure. About your third Q gross margin guide, it’s — you briefly mentioned about some cost factoring in. Can you elaborate up on that? The mid-20% margin.

Megan FaustExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Angela, are you speaking specifically to the Q3 guide for gross margin or specific to the Q2 actuals? I just wanted to make sure I addressed the right question.

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

Yeah. The 3Q guide.

Megan FaustExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Okay. Yeah. So, our mid point for the gross margin guide is flat sequentially, acknowledging revenue is expected to increase 21%. So, as you know, gross margin can fluctuate based on utilization or product mix. So, advanced SiP revenue is increasing significantly in Q3. As I mentioned, that is supporting the communications market. And advanced SiP does have a higher material content, and so that’s what impacts product mix. However, our gross profit dollars are projected to be up over $50 million, or 20%, and operating income margin is expected to expand around 150 basis points sequentially. EPS is also expected to be up around $0.20, or 40%, to a record $0.70. So, overall, while the product mix can have an impact on gross margin percentage, advanced SiP is profitable, generating good results and cash flow. Any…

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

And a follow up around — yeah, around your SiP pipeline. Can you give an update of your SiP pipeline, the revenue expectation for the full year? And do you see growing factoring multi-sourcing on some of the consumer audio [Phonetic] products?

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Angela. Let me try to answer that question. I think with respect to our SiP pipeline, as we already mentioned earlier, we have a strong pipeline both in the communications segment as well as in the consumer segment. For communication, we see healthy growth in the third quarter. And, of course, we don’t guide for the full year, but we expect that to extent in the fourth quarter also. For the consumer end market, we are ramping up several new products in the second quarter as well as in the third quarter. And we see continued strength there, proliferating in multiple products as well as in multiple customers there. So, going forward, we expect SiP to be an important product — part of our product portfolio in Amkor where it goes from starting with communication, it extends into the consumer market, as well as in the automotive and to computing market.

Any further questions there?

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

Yeah, thank you. On lead times, are your lead time running normal for assembly and test? And how are your lead times now? Are you getting additional equipment?

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Angela, in the supply chain, we share — we are experiencing several challenges. One is in the lead time of equipment. In our new equipment, we saw over the last six to eight months, lead times actually doubling, but overall, we were able to install the capacity that we require for our ramp in the third quarter. So, although that lead times are extending, we don’t see that as a bottleneck for the second half of this year. And we share already an anticipation of these lead times, we, in selective areas, ordering equipment for the following year.

Now, if you look to the lead time for our manufacturing process, these lead times are not changed. We don’t see an extension there. We start our manufacturing process when we have all the materials available, and then our manufacturing lead time is unchanged, and that was both for assembly, as well as test.

Of course, besides equipment, we see more challenges in the supply chain for material specifically, where we see significant challenges for substrates and lead frames in different parts of the market. For the second and third quarter, we are able to work with our suppliers and customers to deliver on our forecast, however, we see a challenge to support further upsides.

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

Okay. Great. And next, regarding the industry poll showing data [Phonetic], so the billings are at a record high and do worry some investors. So, how do you see the industry respond? And do you have any concern on the reversal to over supply? And do you negotiate with your customers on any agreements to guarantee volume and mitigate risks [Indecipherable]?

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Thanks, Angela. Let me start with the second part of your question, is the agreements that we have with our customers. In the current market conditions, we see several agreements with our customers that go beyond our regular agreements that we have. And they range from prepayments to minimum loading agreements. In critical areas where we see significant increases and customers are willing to support these changing commercial terms and work with us.

Then go back to your first part of the question that was very much related to billings in the equipment industry. And this is indeed a very strong year for the equipment industry. We see significant installation of new capacity in the course of this year. The way that we look at this is very much that in 2020, we saw a significant moderation in the installed capacity due to the COVID situation. So, I see 2021 a bit of a catch up year where there is higher investments. That will continue, of course. The industry is expected to grow, but I see this year very much as a catch up year versus a moderate 2020 investment year.

When it comes to the lead times for critical equipment, we are working with our suppliers there to assure that we have a forecast for 2022 in such a way that our suppliers can pre-empt the volumes that they need to build for us next year. And we have confident that we are able to also support our customers in the coming year.

Does it answer your question there, Angela?

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

Yeah. Thank you so much.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from Art Winston with Pilot Advisors. Please state your question.

Arthur WinstonPilot Advisors — Analyst

Thank you, and congratulations on such a great quarter for shareholders. My first question is, would you anticipate, if you forget seasonality, that the 5G business will continue to grow from this level, or would you anticipate it should flatten out going forward?

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, we see the transition from 4G to 5G continue for the next two to three years. This year’s expected 500 million handsets being built with 5G capability, which is about 40% of the total handset market. We expect that to grow in 2022 to something like 65% to 70%, and then the year after it will gradually move to a higher percentage. The overall smartphone market, if you take the overall volume, it grows mid-single digits percentage this year and we expect, let’s say, a moderate growth going forward. We saw some of the critical markets like, for example, the India market holding back a bit in the second quarter, but we expect that to recover going forward. So, that’s what we see over the next two years, continued growth in 5G. We have a strong footprint there. And that is a strong growth driver for Amkor going forward.

Arthur WinstonPilot Advisors — Analyst

Good. In terms of capacity utilization, are we bumping up against utilization any place like Korea or someplace where we’re fully utilized?

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Well, we installed significant incremental capacity actually in the second quarter to prepare for the third quarter ramp. Currently, our lines are highly utilized. We see still some utilization improvement possibilities in our Japan factory, for example. But, generally, in the third and fourth quarter, we are close to fully utilized, and we also expect this year to be close to fully yield utilized in the third and fourth quarter.

Arthur WinstonPilot Advisors — Analyst

Well, OK. Have you picked a location in the United States? And if so, what do you think the whole project will cost when you finished up with it?

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Well, we’re watching closely the activities in the U.S., with establishing semiconductor manufacturing supply chain. Of course, we are encouraged to see the passage [Phonetic] share of the chips for American founding [Phonetic]. Amkor is uniquely positioned to be an OSAT in the U.S. We’re a U.S.-based company. We are headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. Of course, with respect to the U.S. cost structure as compared to the Asian cost structure, we are really — currently working with federal, state and local jurisdictions to really understand the incentives that could become available to build a competitive supply chain in the U.S. I mean currently we are actively exploring and evaluating potential sites for U.S. facility and to bring that up in line with other investments in the supply chain to be able to support our customers in the U.S.

Arthur WinstonPilot Advisors — Analyst

But nothing has been signed so far? If you have [Speech Overlap] Yeah.

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

No, but we’re zooming in to a few possible locations, and we expect to finalize this in the next phase.

Arthur WinstonPilot Advisors — Analyst

Okay. My last question is on a couple of older conference calls you alluded to going into sort of where high technology testing and emphasizing testing going forward, but you really not talking about very much. So, is that — is testing growth in the course for the future?

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Test — let me step back here to create a perspective. I think, turnkey services for Amkor is important, and turnkey basically includes bumping, probing, assembly and final test. So, testing is an integral part of our offering. And we’re investing significantly to expand our test capability and capacity, very specifically in the 5G domain where 5G testing is a new technology area where we started to invest in about two years ago, and we now have significant volume capability in place in our Korea facility.

Arthur WinstonPilot Advisors — Analyst

Okay. Well, thanks, and thanks for the results as well.

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. I appreciate that.

Operator

Thank you. And at this time, I’m showing no further questions. I would like to turn the call back over to Giel for closing remarks. Thank you.

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Thank you. Before closing the call, I would like to recap our key messages. For the second quarter of 2021, we delivered all-time record revenue of $1.41 billion and record second quarter EPS of $0.51. For the third quarter, we expect robust year-over-year growth of 26% with revenue of $1.7 billion. Supply chain constraints are expected to continue in the second half of this year, with gradual recovery occurring through the first part of next year. We are working closely with our customers and suppliers to help mitigate risks from these ongoing constraints. The main catalyst for growth are 5G, IoT, automotive and high-performance computing, and with Amkor’s position in these key markets, we expect to outgrow the semiconductor market in 2021. And last but not least, I would like to thank the global Amkor team for delivering another great quarter.

Thank you for joining the call today.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 34 minutes

Call participants:

Jennifer JueSenior Director, Investor Relations and Finance

Giel RuttenPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Megan FaustExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Angela DaiCredit Suisse — Analyst

Arthur WinstonPilot Advisors — Analyst

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