ASML has raised its long-term outlook following a surge in demand for the semiconductors that its machines help to make. The Dutch company, which makes the lithography equipment that’s used to produce the world’s most advanced chips, said in a statement on its investor day that it now expects annual revenue to hit 24-30 billion euros ($28-$35 billion) by 2025, with gross margins up to between 54% and 56%. The prediction is significantly higher than the 15-24 billion euro range it had previously forecast. “We see significant growth opportunities beyond 2025,” the company said, adding that it expects to achieve an annual revenue growth rate of around 11% between 2020 and 2030.
Demand for chips has soared worldwide in the last year after the coronavirus pandemic led to a chip crunch that wreaked havoc on the automotive industry and beyond. ASML said, “global megatrends in the electronic industry” coupled with “a highly profitable and fiercely innovative ecosystem” are expected to continue to fuel growth across the semiconductor market. It added that growth in semiconductor markets and “increasing lithography intensity” are driving demand for its products and services. Headquartered in Veldhoven, ASML is the only company in the world capable of building the sophisticated machines that chip manufacturers need to make the most advanced chips. These chips are faster and more efficient than their predecessors.
Customers of ASML include Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which makes chips for the likes of Apple. Reuters reported last year that the Trump administration pressured the Netherlands government to stop the sale of the machine to Chinese customers.
“ASML is absolutely critical to the entire semiconductor ecosystem,” Peter Hanbury, a partner at management consultancy Bain & Company with a focus on semiconductors, told CNBC in June. “In some ways, it’s just as important as TSMC.” Frank Bosenberg, managing director of tech network Silicon Saxony, told CNBC in August that ASML is “a major asset” within the semiconductor industry. The company stands to benefit as chipmakers invest heavily in new facilities and equipment as part of an effort to meet surging demand. TSMC, for example, has pledged to spend $100 billion in the next three years to expand its capacity and alleviate the current bottlenecks.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last week that he expects that the global chip shortage is a short-term issue that will end next year as new chip plants come online. AMD CEO Lisa Su said Monday she also expects it to end next year. Amsterdam-listed shares of ASML, which has a market value of $322 billion, were up 1.7% on Wednesday morning and have railed 70% so far this year.