It was perhaps a disappointing 4QFY2020 ending December for precision engineering firm UMS. Headline net profit fell 89% y-o-y in 4Q despite a 9% y-o-y increase for the financial year, with its core PATMI of $10.8 million missing Maybank Kim Eng (Maybank KE) analyst Gene Lih Lai’s estimates despite meeting the lower end of consensus projections. 

But Lih - as well as CGS-CIMB analyst William Tng - remain bullish on the stock, as they maintain their “add” and “buy” calls, in part due to its strong ties with semiconductor equipment manufacturer Applied Materials (AMAT). The company has an entrenched relationship with AMAT, which recently reclaimed its position as the world’s largest vendor of semiconductor manufacturing equipment from rival ASML. 

“Customer Applied Materials (AMAT) estimates 2020 wafer fabrication equipment (WFE) spending was in the high-US$50 billion ($66.5 billion) range, and expects 2021 WFE to be slightly above US$70 billion. Furthermore, AMAT expects to outperform peers in 2021 on the back of robust fundamentals in favour of DRAM investment upswing,” writes the Maybank KE analyst in a March 1 report. 

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