KLA Corp. shares ticked higher in the extended session Thursday after the company reported earnings that topped Wall Street estimates and announced a new stock buyback program and dividend hike.
shares rose 3% after hours, following a 1.2% in the regular session to close at $319.43.
The company, which makes the instruments that foundries use to fabricate the silicon wafers used to make chips, reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $633 million, or $4.10 a share, compared with $411.3 million, or $2.63 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude restructuring charges and other items, were $4.43 a share, compared with $2.73 a share in the year-ago period.
Revenue rose to $1.93 billion from $1.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast $3.99 a share on revenue of $1.87 billion, based on KLA’s forecast of $3.47 to $4.35 a share on revenue of $1.76 billion to $1.96 billion.
KLA forecast first-quarter earnings of $4.01 to $4.89 a share on revenue of $1.92 billion to $2.12 billion, while analysts had estimated $4.13 a share on revenue of $1.92 billion.
The company said its board authorized $2 billion in new share buybacks, and hiked the dividend by 17% to $1.05 a share.
For a while now, chip-equipment makers like KLA and Lam have been poised for multiple quarters of strength going forward as fabs, or the manufacturing plants that make the silicon wafers used in semiconductors, build out their capacity amid a global shortage in microchips.
Over the past 12 months, KLA shares have gained 64%, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index
rose 58% over that period. Similarly, the S&P 500 index
rose 36%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index