Lam Research and Applied Materials shares were rated outperform by a Bernstein analyst who initiated coverage of the semiconductor equipment companies.
Analyst Stacy Rasgon has a $700 share price target on Lam Research and $160 price target for Applied Materials. According to Rasgon, the semiconductor capital equipment companies have a “positive long-term structural stance."
“Over the last several years, the cyclical environment for semicap has become more supportive," the analyst said. "While still subject to swings, underlying semiconductor volatility has dampened as that industry has grown (and approached the $500B mark), with volatility correspondingly reduced in the semicap industry that feeds it."
Rasgon said that both Lam and Applied Materials have presence in a variety of sub-markets (as opposed to, say, KLA Corp. or ASML who maintain much more focus in their specialties). The analyst also mentioned that both the companies have grown over the years through acquisitions.
Applied Materials is more diversified, and makes equipment for display manufacturing as well as semiconductors, while Lam Research focuses primarily in etch and deposition, Rasgon noted.