What happened

Shares of semiconductor equipment manufacturer Axcelis Technologies (NASDAQ:ACLS) soared on Wednesday after the company raised its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2020 and announced a new share repurchase program. The stock was up about 13.8% at 11:55 a.m. EST today.

So what

Axcelis now expects to generate revenue of approximately $120 million for the fourth quarter, up from previous guidance of $110 million. The company expects a gross margin of 43% and earnings per share of $0.32, up from previous guidance of 41% and $0.21, respectively.

A circuit board.

Image source: Getty Images.

CEO Mary Puma said: "We expect 2020 to exceed expectations and that 2021 will be another strong year, with the mature process technology market continuing to grow and the memory market expected to recover. This positions us well to achieve our $550 million and $650 million target models."

On top of the boosted guidance, the company announced that the board of directors had authorized $100 million to be used for share repurchases in 2021.

Now what

Axcelis is scheduled to report its full fourth-quarter results after the market closes on Feb. 10. A conference call will be held the following morning.

Including Wednesday's rally, Axcelis stock has now nearly tripled from its 52-week low last April. A combination of strong results this year and the share buybacks could help push the stock even higher.

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