(Bloomberg) -- BE Semiconductor Industries NV shares jumped after fourth-quarter revenue rose 16%, snapping six quarters of falling sales, as demand from artificial intelligence customers eclipsed persisting weakness in other pockets of the industry.

The stock rose as much as 18% to €182.90 in Amsterdam trading, the biggest jump in more than eight years. Revenue reached €159.6 million ($173 million), while net income jumped 37% to €54.9 million from a year earlier, the company said in a statement. 

The chip equipment maker said market positioning helped it weather an “industry downturn as severe as the 2017-2019 period.”

While BE Semiconductor’s orders in 2023 suffered from reduced interest for mainstream computing and automotive applications, demand increased in the second half of the year for silicon photonics, hybrid bonding and 2.5D memory applications, which are used to build out AI capacity. 

Half of orders in the fourth quarter were for its most advanced 100-nanometer accuracy hybrid bonding systems, a type of technology that connects multiple chiplets in closer electrical proximity to improve overall power and efficiency, according to its website.

What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:

Revenue and orders at BE Semiconductor (Besi) surpassed consensus in 4Q23, but 1Q revenue guidance below expectations suggests the full year could be back-end loaded. A slower-than-anticipated 1Q may not be a big concern, given customers — including ASE — plan to significantly increase spending this year, focusing on advanced packaging. About half of Besi’s 4Q23 hybrid bonding orders are for new-generation tools, implying strong momentum behind the technology.

— Ken Hui, semiconductor industry analyst

A global AI computing boom has propelled Nvidia Corp., the world’s most valuable chipmaker, to new heights. The company’s results and forecast, released on Wednesday, trounced Wall Street estimates. European chipmakers Infineon Technologies AG and STMicroelectronics NV both gave disappointing outlooks amid continued weakness in the wider industry, particularly from industrial customers.

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