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Fiber-Optic News Keeps Amtech Stock Soaring

August 18, 2000|Bloomberg News

The stock of Amtech Systems Inc. (ASYS) has been moving at the speed of light since the firm said it was entering the fiber-optic market two days ago.

The shares soared 46% on Thursday, bringing their two-day gain to nearly 280% after the Tempe, Ariz., maker of chip production equipment said it's producing components used to manufacture fiber-optic telecommunication parts.

The shares jumped $4.63 to close at $14.63 on Nasdaq.

Amtech said it has a $6.4-million order, its largest ever, for 11 diffusion furnace systems used by an unidentified European company to produce semiconductors for broadband communication switches. It would be Amtech's first production of equipment for makers of optical telecom components.

"It's probably the hottest space in the stock market right now," said Jordan Estra, a Ryan, Beck & Co. analyst who follows optical networking companies.

The market for optical components used in telecommunications will grow to an estimated $23 billion in 2003 from $6.6 billion in 1999, according to market researcher RHK.

Estra said he wouldn't be surprised to see other makers of semiconductor production components try their hand at the fiber-optics market. Teradyne Inc. (TER), the largest maker of semiconductor-testing equipment, already has begun, he said.

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