ASML to report Q3 earnings as China, supply chain questions swirl

Supply chain snags, spending cuts by customers and U.S. trade curbs on China are likely to be in focus at ASML Holding NV’s (ASML.AS) quarterly results on Wednesday, which should benefit from strong past orders of its equipment to make computer chips.

Europe’s largest technology company is working through a 33 billion euro ($32.5 billion) order backlog that stretches into 2024. However, markets will be watching for any change in the Dutch company’s outlook.

Analysts are on average forecasting a third quarter profit of 1.42 billion euros, according to Refinitiv data, almost unchanged from 1.41 billion euros in the second quarter.

ASML, which sources fewer than 25% of parts in the United States for its lithography systems – $160 million machines used to create the circuitry of chips – has said it is still assessing the impact of U.S. measures imposed earlier this month to cut off China from certain chip supplies.

Previous U.S. diplomacy has led to the Dutch government barring ASML from shipping its most advanced machines to China since 2019.

However, in 2021, 16% of ASML sales still went to customers in China, an important manufacturer of older chips used in sensors and power controls.

ASML’s shares are down 42% in the year to date. They took a sharp knock this month when Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (2330.TW) (TSMC), the biggest maker of chips, said it had cut capital spending plans by 10%.

TSMC said that was partially due to “tool delivery challenges”, an apparent reference to ASML.

In July, ASML said it was struggling with “an increasing number” of supply constraints, down to the component level at its own suppliers, that were likely to persist through the end of the year.

ASML will update markets in November as to whether it can expand production capacity significantly by 2025.

($1 = 1.0156 euros)