Semiconductor industry bellwether ASML Holding (ASML -1.95%) released its first-quarter earnings results on April 20, and the company's numbers indicate that it is set to win big time from the booming demand for chips in the long run.
Let's take a closer look at ASML's latest numbers and see why it is a top semiconductor stock to buy right now.
ASML is about to step on the gas
ASML reported first-quarter revenue of 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion), which beat the Wall Street estimate of 3.44 billion euros and was at the higher end of the company's guidance range of 3.4 billion euros to 3.5 billion euros. The company's net income of 695 million euros ($752 million) also exceeded the consensus estimate of 621 million euros.
It is worth noting that ASML's revenue and earnings dropped substantially over the prior-year period when it had generated net income of $1.33 billion on sales of $4.36 billion. This sharp decline can be attributed to ASML's policy of shipping its lithography machines to customers before completing the final testing in a bid to speed up deliveries. However, ASML recognizes revenue from these shipments only when they are finally tested and their acceptance is completed at the customer site.
ASML will recognize 2 billion euros in delayed revenue in the ongoing quarter from machines that were shipped in the previous one, which explains the company's solid revenue guidance of 5.1 billion euros to 5.3 billion euros for the second quarter. For comparison, ASML generated 4 billion euros in revenue in the same period last year, which means that its top line is on track to increase 30% year over year at the midpoint of its guidance.
It is also worth noting that ASML's Q2 revenue guidance excludes 800 million euros worth of shipments that will be recognized as revenue in subsequent quarters. The company has maintained its full-year guidance and expects revenue to increase 20% in 2022, which excludes machines that will be shipped this year but will be recognized as revenue in 2023.
What's more, a closer look at ASML's order book and the outlook of the industry it operates in indicates that it can sustain such strong growth rates over the long run.
The order book points toward robust long-term growth
ASML exited the first quarter with net bookings of 7 billion euros, which crushed analysts' expectations of 3.7 billion euros by a handsome margin. The company's net bookings figure reflects "all system sales orders for which written authorizations have been accepted," which points toward strong demand for ASML's lithography machines that are used for making chips.
More importantly, the solid growth in bookings last quarter -- which outpaced the company's actual revenue -- has brought ASML's backlog of orders to a whopping 29 billion euros. Now, ASML pointed out on its investor day in September 2021 that it expects to reach annual revenue between 24 billion euros and 30 billion euros in 2025. The company's backlog indicates that it could hit the higher end of its forecast ahead of schedule.
Additionally, ASML management forecasts an annual revenue growth rate of 11% through 2030. It is not surprising to see why the company is upbeat about its long-term prospects.
McKinsey estimates that the global semiconductor market could generate $1 trillion in revenue by 2030 as compared to $600 billion in 2021. As a result, foundries and chipmakers can be expected to spend more money on upgrading their production capacities to meet the growth in end-market demand, thereby expanding ASML's addressable market.
ASML says that the semiconductor industry is going to be significantly short of manufacturing capacity for at least a couple of years, which is why the demand for its equipment isn't going to weaken any time soon.
ASML supplies its machines to the leading foundries that produce chips and commands a solid share of the lithography market, which explains the company's sunny long-term forecast. Even better, analysts expect the company's earnings to grow 30% annually for the next five years. All of this makes the Dutch giant a top growth stock to buy right now, especially considering that it is trading at 43 times trailing earnings, a discount to last year's earnings multiple of 53.