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September 21, 2017

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IC inspection tool supplier reports over 10% rise in 1st quarter earnings

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Hermes Microvision Inc., a Taiwan-based semiconductor inspection tool and equipment suppliers, posted a more than 10 percent year-on-year increase in net profit for the first quarter of this year due to growing demand in the integrated circuit business.

In a statement, Hermes said its net profit totaled NT$584 million (US$19.34 million) in the January-March period, up 10.14 percent from a year earlier.

The increase also reflected the foreign exchange gains in the three months, when the Taiwan dollar depreciated against the U.S. dollar, Hermes said. The net profit data included about NT$135 million in foreign exchange gains.

However, the first quarter net profit fell 16.68 percent from a quarter earlier, reflecting slow season effects in the quarter for the semiconductor sector.

In the first quarter, Hermes's earnings per share stood at NT$8.23, compared with NT$8.04 in EPS recorded over the same period of last year.

After inventory adjustments in the semiconductor business in the previous two quarters, Hermes expected a strong rebound of the sector in the second quarter will boost sales for the quarter by more than 50 percent from the first quarter.

The company said its order backlog will last for the next six months. For the entire 2014, Hermes has expected its sales will grow 25 to 30 percent from a year earlier.

Amid optimism toward Hermes's bottom line, Barclays Capital has raised its target price on Hermes shares to NT$2,000 from NT$1,240, saying Hermes has taken the lead over its peers in IC electronics beam inspection tool production and is expected to capitalize on that advantage and continue to grow in the years to come.

On Friday, shares of Hermes rose 3.18 percent to close at NT$1,300.00 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, retaining the title as the second most expensive stock in the local bourse after smartphone camera lens maker Largan Precision Co., which ended at NT$1,600.00.

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