Dow Jones Newswires: Chipmaker ASML posts profit fall, introduces interim dividend

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ASML Holding NV said Wednesday that net profit fell 7.9% in the third quarter, as net sales and gross margin were in line with guidance, and declared an interim dividend as part of a new capital-return policy.

The Dutch maker of semiconductor equipment ASML, +3.01%  said net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 was 626.8 million euros ($691.0 million) compared with EUR680.4 million in the year-earlier period.

Total net sales grew to EUR2.99 billion from EUR2.78 billion a year earlier, with a margin of 43.7%, ASML said.

This was in line with the company’s guidance of net sales of around EUR3.0 billion and a gross margin of between 43% and 44%.

For the fourth quarter, the company said it expects net sales to be around EUR3.9 billion with a gross margin of about 48% and 49%.

“For the remainder of the year, we expect logic to continue to be strong, driven by the leading-edge nodes supporting end-market technology and applications such as 5G and artificial intelligence. The timing of memory recovery remains uncertain,” ASML President and Chief Executive Peter Wennink said.

ASML said it is revising its capital return policy to introduce dividend payments on a semi-annual basis and declared an interim dividend for 2019 of EUR1.05 a share.

The company said it has repurchased shares worth EUR1.4 billion to date under an existing share buyback program, but that it doesn’t anticipate to buy back the full EUR2.5 billion of shares within the 2018-19 timeframe.