KALISPELL, MT--(Marketwire - November 11, 2008) - Semitool, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMTL), a leading manufacturer of wafer processing equipment for the semiconductor industry, today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and full fiscal year ended September 30, 2008.

Fourth quarter revenue increased 27 percent to $60.1 million from $47.2 million in last year's fourth quarter. Gross margin was 52 percent compared with 43 percent in the comparable year-ago quarter. Gross margin in last year's fourth quarter was impacted by a $3.0 million write off of inventory.

Net income was $1.2 million, or $0.04 per share, versus a net loss of $1.5 million, or $0.05 per share, in the fourth quarter last year. This year's fourth quarter earnings were impacted by a $900,000, or $0.02 per share, non-cash write down on the value of the common stock of Aviza Technology, Inc., which was received during fiscal 2008 in exchange for certain thermal assets.

Gross bookings of $50.3 million were impacted by the cancellation of a large order related to a proposed GaAs fab in China that was halted. Net bookings were $35.5 million versus $60.2 million in last year's fourth quarter. Deferred revenue at the end of the fourth quarter was $13.6 million and shipping backlog was $54.5 million, combining for a total revenue backlog of $68.1 million. Total shipments in the fourth quarter were $55.9 million.

"Our double-digit revenue and earnings growth during fiscal 2008 was achieved in spite of the headwinds that have impacted our industry over the past several quarters," said Larry Murphy, president and chief operating officer. "In line with the continued reduction in capital spending throughout our customer base, we have taken action to eliminate approximately $2.5 million in expenses during the first fiscal quarter of 2009. These cuts will provide approximately $6.0 million in quarterly savings on an ongoing basis."

"We have maintained a strong working capital position and continue to expand our presence within many of the world's leading device manufacturers," Murphy added. "We are focused on a number of growth opportunities, and recently received purchase orders from two different memory manufacturers employing our new Thru-Silicon-Via technologies. We also have shipped a development tool to a major logic manufacturer that is evaluating the Raider for front-end-of-line cleaning applications. In addition, a long-standing key customer is expected to commence work on its new foundry company in early 2009, and we anticipate significant participation in this new business opportunity. We believe Semitool is well positioned to weather current industry conditions and capture additional market share as spending levels improve."

Full year results

For the full fiscal year, revenue was $238.6 million up 11 percent from $215.2 million in fiscal 2007. Net income increased 15 percent to $6.0 million, or $0.19 per share, versus net income of $5.2 million, or $0.16 per share, last year.

At September 30, 2008, Semitool had cash and cash equivalents of $12.8 million, working capital of $135.5 million and total shareholders' equity of $178.4 million. Since the close of its fiscal year, the Company has collected a significant portion of its year-end receivables, which has increased Semitool's cash balance to approximately $22 million as of today.


Management expects to report revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 in the range of $42 million to $47 million. First quarter loss per share is expected to range from $0.04 to $0.07. Shipments for the quarter are expected to range from $52 million to $54 million. Full year revenue for fiscal 2009 is expected to range from $170 million to $220 million.

Conference Call Information

Semitool will host an investor conference call and simultaneous webcast today at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. The call can be accessed by dialing 877-356-3834 (706-679-0445 for international callers) and providing the passcode 68997990. The webcast will be available via the Internet at www.semitool.com. Webcast participants should access the website at least 10 minutes early to register and download any necessary audio software. A replay of the webcast will be available for 90 days. An audio replay will be accessible approximately two hours after the call has ended and will be available until 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 13, 2008. The replay can be accessed by dialing 800-642-1687 (706-645-9291 for international callers) and entering the passcode 68997990.

About Semitool, Inc.

Semitool designs, manufactures and supports highly engineered, multi-chamber single-wafer and batch wet chemical processing equipment used in the fabrication of semiconductor devices. The company's primary suites of equipment include electrochemical deposition systems for electroplating copper, gold, solder and other metals; surface preparation systems for cleaning, stripping and etching silicon wafers; and wafer transport container cleaning systems. The company's equipment is used in semiconductor fabrication front-end and back-end processes, including wafer-level packaging.

Headquartered in Kalispell, Montana, Semitool maintains sales and support centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. The company's stock trades on Nasdaq under the symbol SMTL. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.semitool.com.

Semitool is a registered trademark of Semitool, Inc.

Safe Harbor Statement

The matters discussed in this news release include forward-looking statements, including statements related to (i) cost savings projections, (ii) market share and growth opportunities, (iii) expectations of greater capital spending by a certain key customer and our deriving sales from this spending, (iv) the Company's ability to weather current industry conditions and (v) financial guidance for the first quarter and fiscal year ending September 30, 2009. Also, bookings, deferred revenue, shipping backlog, revenue backlog and product shipments are not necessarily an indication of revenue in any future period. These forward-looking statements are based on management's assumptions, estimates and projections as of the date hereof and are subject to risks and uncertainties that are discussed in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2007 and subsequent filings with the SEC. Many factors can adversely affect these forward-looking statements and forecasted financial performance, including the recent worldwide economic turmoil, cancellations and push-outs, customers' on-site acceptance of our products, unanticipated costs (including restructuring costs), as well as a number of other risk factors described in our Form 10-K. Our business in general is subject to risks that can cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, demand being adversely affected by the cyclicality in the semiconductor industry, delays in acceptance and payment for shipped tools, the company's ability to timely deliver and support its products, technological changes that affect our ability to compete, the risks associated with competing on a global basis and possible volatility in key markets, including Asia. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.

                              SEMITOOL, INC.
             (Amounts in Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)

                                 Three Months Ended     Fiscal Year Ended
                                    September 30,         September 30,
                                --------------------  --------------------
                                   2008       2007       2008       2007
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------

Net sales                       $  60,081  $  47,175  $ 238,604  $ 215,220
Cost of sales                      29,032     26,939    121,209    113,729
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
Gross profit                       31,049     20,236    117,395    101,491
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------

Operating expenses:
  Selling, general and
   administrative                  18,957     17,369     76,929     71,749
  Research and development          8,597      6,815     30,440     27,080
  Downsizing costs                     --         --         ­--        677
  Gain on sale of building             --         --         --       (648)
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
    Total operating expenses       27,554     24,184    107,369     98,858
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------

Income (loss) from operations       3,495     (3,948)    10,026      2,633
Other income (expense), net        (1,675)       817     (1,043)       706
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
Income (loss) before income tax     1,820     (3,131)     8,983      3,339
Income tax provision (benefit)        586     (1,644)     2,946     (1,892)
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------

Net income (loss)               $   1,234  $  (1,487) $   6,037  $   5,231
                                =========  =========  =========  =========

Earnings (loss) per share:
  Basic                         $    0.04  $   (0.05) $    0.19  $    0.16
                                =========  =========  =========  =========
  Diluted                       $    0.04  $   (0.05) $    0.19  $    0.16
                                =========  =========  =========  =========

Weighted average common shares:
  Basic                            32,494     32,089     32,347     32,034
  Diluted                          32,652     32,089     32,534     32,450

                              SEMITOOL, INC.
                          (Amounts in Thousands)

                                              September 30,  September 30,
                                                  2008           2007
                                              -------------  -------------

Current assets:
  Cash and cash equivalents                   $      12,821  $      16,090
  Trade receivables, net                             73,695         56,999
  Inventories                                        88,773         78,017
  Prepaid expenses and other current assets          19,018         16,875
                                              -------------  -------------
    Total current assets                            194,307        167,981
Property, plant and equipment, net                   49,909         49,148
Other assets, net                                     8,596          9,200
                                              -------------  -------------
      Total assets                            $     252,812  $     226,329
                                              =============  =============


Current liabilities:
  Trade accounts payable                      $      19,007  $      12,958
  Other current liabilities                          39,785         31,654
                                              -------------  -------------
    Total current liabilities                        58,792         44,612
Long-term liabilities                                15,663         12,864
                                              -------------  -------------
    Total liabilities                                74,455         57,476
                                              -------------  -------------

Shareholders' equity:
  Common stock                                       87,293         83,215
  Retained earnings                                  91,496         86,130
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss                 (432)          (492)
                                              -------------  -------------
    Total shareholders' equity                      178,357        168,853
                                              -------------  -------------
      Total liabilities and shareholders'
       equity                                 $     252,812  $     226,329
                                              =============  =============

Contact Information: Contacts: Semitool, Inc. Larry Viano Chief Financial Officer 406.752.2107 Pfeiffer High Investor Relations, Inc. Geoff High 303.393.7044 www.pfeifferhigh.com