February SEMI Book-to-Bill Sags

The February book-to-bill data for the Semiconductor Equipment sector is out and both bookings and billings declined in February.  From Semi…

“The book-to-bill ratio has remained at or above parity for three months in a row,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “The data indicate an improved spending trend in the second half of the year, driven by 3D NAND and 10nm investments.”

Full report from SEMI

This is misleading because the trend for 3 months in a row now is down in both bookings and billings.  The ratio is meaningless for our purposes as financial market watchers.  The decline in bookings means a decline in new (forward) business activity, even as bookings decline less rapidly than billings.

The spike up in December was somewhat anticipated for similar reasons to the traditional December spike in Machine Tools.  That has now faded away and yet the SOX, along with the likes of AMAT, LRCX, etc. are much higher than they were in January and February.

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