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Why Axcelis Technologies, Inc. Stock Gained 20.3% in October

Keith Noonan, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of Axcelis Technologies (NASDAQ: ACLS)) climbed 20.3% in October, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The big gains appear to correspond with news of the semiconductor equipment company's addition to the S&P Small Cap 600.

Microchip

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

On Oct. 11, it was announced that Axcelis Technologies would become a part of the S&P Small Cap 600, replacing Landeur. The move was made official before market open on Oct. 19. Axcelis' big gains correspond with those dates, and, in the absence of other significant news last month, it looks like the stock's October movement was closely related to joining S&P's small-cap index. 

Axcelis was also coming off of major gains in September stemming from its announcement of orders from leading chip manufacturers for its Purion H high-current wafer implanter, and appears to have seen continued momentum from that news.

Now what

Axcelis announced third-quarter earnings results on Nov. 2. Sales for the quarter increased 59% year over year to $104.5 million, and gross profit for the quarter climbed 65% year over year to $39.8 million. Shares jumped an additional 6% following the earnings release and have appreciated more than 130% year to date. 

Management sees demand for its semiconductor hardware being driven by growth in data storage, Internet of Things, and mobile markets, and expects strong performance in the next fiscal year. Axcelis also expects significant growth from the Chinese and Japanese markets and sees indications of substantial increases in demand for its memory solutions in 2019. 

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Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.