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I'm a bit concerned as are all current/future shareholders of this cyclical company with the downturn in semi demand, how exposed is KLAC to it's customers?? i.e. can anyone elaborate on who are KLAC's customers and how significant a role they play on KLAC's revenues.
I'm just guessing but Intel and AMD must be big customers or do they have their own in house group to meet the needs of increasing chip yields and efficiencies?

Also, while I'm asking for info, if anyone knows about KLAC's key competitors, who they are, how "inevitable" are their products & services, and what is the general consensus of KLAC's products & services (how wide is that moat) please feel free to enlighten me.

If anybody can lend their knowledge, I'd certainly appreciate it and whatever news I come up with I'll be spreadin'.

jp
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Have you checked the 10Q & Ks?
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As promised, I'll share whatever I find out. I must say that I just read the May 14, 2001 Quarterly report and didn't find any answers to my questions. The Annual report offers a few insights though it was released some time ago, Sept. 28, 2000. Nevertheless, here's what I've found out related to customers...

CUSTOMERS

To support our growing, global customer base, we maintain a significant presence throughout the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Japan, staffed with local sales and applications engineers, customer and field service engineers and yield management consultants. We count among our largest customers leading semiconductor manufacturers from each of these regions. In fiscal 2000, 1999 and 1998, no single customer accounted for more than 10% of our revenues.

Our business depends upon the capital expenditures of semiconductor manufacturers, which in turn depend on the current and anticipated market demand for integrated circuits and products utilizing integrated circuits. We do not consider our business to be seasonal in nature, but it is cyclical with respect to the capital equipment procurement practices of semiconductor manufacturers
and is impacted by the investment patterns of such manufacturers in different global markets. Downturns in the semiconductor industry or slowdowns in the worldwide economy could have a material adverse effect on our future business and financial results.


I'm encouraged by KLAC's customer base being fairly broad. However, has this changed with the slowdown in the industry and are the manufacturers themselves R&Ding to ween themselves away from the KLAC's?

Who are KLAC's competitors and where do they stand? It seems that a lot of the products produced by KLAC are patentable, which may widen the "moat" a bit more...I'll continue to chip away at these questions and will share what I find out. Hopefully the real Guru will show up and elighten us all.

jp
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I'm not a guru, but KLAC is a big vendor to my company. Intel and AMD *are* big customers. So are Texas Instruments, Infineon, ST-Microelectronics, IBM. Name a semiconductor company and they probably buy some kind of equipment from KLA-Tencor. I don't know what you mean by "inevitable". We are generally pleased with their products, and particularly their service. Their Field Engineers are (mostly) a highly skilled bunch and their Applications people are among the best. It's my observation that the better FE's get moved into applications.

I think Applied Materials is probably their biggest competitor.
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Applied is the biggest equipement maker in the industry but only some of their products compete against us. We are more specialized in what we do and I think at is what keeps us ahead of the competion.
Intel is everyones biggest customer.
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Have you ever thought of looking at the company's 10-K statement?

Best regards, Ulrich
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