ASML to Launch EUR2.50 Billion Share Buyback; Reports Record Sales for 2017

By Adam ClarkFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

ASML Holding NV (ASML.AE) said Wednesday that it will launch a 2.50 billion-euro ($3.06 billion) share buyback in 2018-2019, and reported record sales and net income for 2017 after a strong final quarter.

The Dutch semiconductor company reported fourth-quarter net income of EUR644 million, compared with EUR524 million in the same quarter the prior year.

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For 2017, ASML reported net income of EUR2.12 billion, up from EUR1.47 billion in 2016.

Net sales for the fourth quarter came to EUR2.56 billion, compared with EUR1.91 billion, while full-year net sales amounted to EUR9.05 billion, having risen from EUR6.80 billion in 2016.

Chief Executive Peter Wennink said the quarterly performance was boosted by the revenue recognition of two system sales occurring earlier than expected, and by some customers requesting shipments sooner than anticipated.

ASML proposed a dividend per share of EUR1.40, up from EUR1.20 the previous year. The company will launch the share buyback from Thursday, and will cancel the shares after purchase.

For the first quarter, ASML said it expects net sales of about EUR2.20 billion, and a gross margin of between 47% and 48%. Mr. Wennink said the company expects continued "solid growth" in sales and profitability this year.

In a separate statement, ASML said it intends to appoint Roger Dassen as executive vice-president and chief financial officer, replacing the outgoing Wolfgang Nickl.

ASML said Mr. Nickl will leave at the end of April, as previously announced, and that Mr. Dassen will join the company on June 1. Mr. Dassen is currently a global vice-chairman of risk, regulatory and public policy at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.

Write to Adam Clark at adam.clark@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2018 01:53 ET (06:53 GMT)