By Ian Walker

BE Semiconductor Industries shares rose as much as 17.5% in early trade after the chip maker reported a much stronger performance for the fourth quarter of last year, and also on the back of U.S. peer Nvidia's earnings.

Shares at 1055 GMT were up EUR18.90, or 12%, at EUR174.55, having peaked at EUR182.90 earlier in the session. Shares are currently up 46% over the past three months.

The Duiven, Netherlands company said Thursday that net profit for the fourth quarter of last year rose to 54.9 million euros ($59.4 million) compared with EUR40.2 million for the prior-year comparable period.

It attributed its performance to favorable market positioning, offsetting weak demand for mainstream assembly equipment.

Revenue for the period rose 16% to EUR159.6 million from EUR137.7 million due to increased shipments for hybrid bonding, photonics and other AI-related computing applications, it said.

However, BE Semiconductor said that it expects revenue for the first quarter of this year to fall between 5% and 15% compared with the fourth quarter and for gross margin to be in the range of 64%-66% due to a favorable advanced-packaging product mix. Gross margin in the fourth quarter was 65.1%.

The company has declared a dividend of EUR2.15 a share.

On Wednesday, Nvidia reported revenue of $22.10 billion for the three months ended Jan. 28, up from $6.05 billion the previous year. Net profit was $12.29 billion, compared with $1.41 billion a year earlier.

Nvidia's results are a bellwether for the strength of the AI boom, as big tech companies place large bets on the technology and need Nvidia's hardware to drive them.

Write to Ian Walker at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-22-24 0619ET