This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, August 15, 2001.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You want to know how technology stocks are doing? Ask how their company’s orders are going. Lately, not well. Applied Materials the latest to confirm that. The chip-making equipment powerhouse looking anything but. Earnings down 85 percent, sales half what they were a year ago.
When I caught up with the company’s CEO, Jim Morgan, I asked when he expected to round the bend.
JIM MORGAN, CEO, APPLIED MATERIALS: We’re kind of bouncing along the bottom here and I think it’d be presumptuous to try to say when something’s going to happen, so what I’ve focused on is trying to make the company really responsive to change. So we’re -- I try to get the people that way and our systems that way, and that’s the only way I think you can operate in this information for everyone world, where everybody has the same data and make the same decision within the same time.
CAVUTO: Well, maybe the world itself has changed not permanently, but maybe for a much longer time than folks once thought. A lot of former technology enthusiasts, as you know, Jim, who says that the parade ain’t going to come by again for a while.
MORGAN: Well, I think we kind of heard that at every downturn I’ve been in, so if I look out there, it seems to me there’s a lot of opportunities to put the next billion people into the information age because these new chip applications and the new chips and the equipment that we’re making possible to make chips more portable, more powerful, more affordable means we can bring these people on and...
CAVUTO: But that’s been the multibillion dollar question, right? I mean, if you had to look for visibility -- I know it’s an overused term -- would it be a first-quarter phenomenon next year? Second quarter? When do we start seeing the light?
MORGAN: I don’t know and I don’t even try to predict. What I try to do is to get us ready. And you know, fortunately, the last six months we’ve just had a great success with our product groups and the trade show where we introduce the nano chip sets or the equipment sets, the other products and services, process modules. You know, we just have a great lineup of products for this upturn, and if you think about the capacity that’s out there, most of the capacity is obsolete for these new technologies. There’s only about 5 percent of...
CAVUTO: And that’s very true. But you’ve got to get people to realize that and to spend money to upgrade them. Most of them are scared stiff to do so. Not only here, but in Europe and Asia.
CAVUTO: Two very weak marks, not only for your company but a host of others. So where is that oomph going to come from?
MORGAN: Well, you know, if -- the companies that don’t get prepared are going to miss the window. If you look back, you saw the Japanese missed the upturn in technology and the chip business in the last round, and so I think the leading companies, we see them placing orders, although it’s just for the pilot lines. But what that means is if we get a disproportionate share of those pilot line positions, as soon as they go into production, that gives us our major run. And so that’s our focus right now.
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