Sat, May 03, 2003 - Page 11 News List

UMC leads advancers after Q1 profit report

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Stocks rose, paced by United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), after the chipmaker said first-quarter profits rose because its US sales gained and margins improved.

The TAIEX rose 39.75, or 1 percent, to 4,178.82. MSCI Taiwan futures for May delivery in Singapore gained 3.5 percent to 182.

UMC rose 1.5 percent to NT$20.30. It said on Wednesday that profit rose by 87 percent to NT$403 million (US$11.6 million) from NT$216 million a year ago.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-facturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) gained 1.1 percent to NT$48.30 after the stock was raised to "overweight/in-line" from "equal-weight/in-line" by analyst Dickson Ho at Morgan Stanley.

Some computer-related stocks declined, however, after Computex Taipei and the annual Taipei Softex Show were cancelled on concern of the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the country's largest notebook computer maker, fell NT$0.50, or 0.8 percent, to NT$60.50.

``The SARS damage to Taiwan's economy hasn't been fully reflected in stock prices,'' said Barro Liao (廖國峰), who manages the US$52 million High-Tech Fund at Prudential Securities Investment Trust Co (保誠投信).

China Airlines Co (華航) gained NT$0.15, or 1.3 percent, to NT$11.90. EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) fell NT$0.25, or 2.3 percent, to NT$10.45. The government may allow the two airlines to run direct chartered cargo flights to China to ease disruptions caused by SARS.

Macronix International Co (旺宏) fell NT$0.40, or 6.7 percent, to NT$5.60. Macronix said on Wednesday its first-quarter loss widened and it expects to post a loss of NT$7.8 billion this year.

Macronix's net loss widened to NT$3.21 billion from NT$2.7 billion a year ago. A Bloomberg News survey of five analysts had a median estimate of NT$2.5 billion.

Silicon Integrated System Corp (矽統) fell NT$0.80, or 4.2 percent, to NT$18.40. The company shut its research department on Thursday after a worker was suspected of having SARS.

VIA Technologies Inc (威盛電子) lost NT$1.60, or 4 percent, to NT$38.40. The chipset maker reported a loss as costs from a patent dispute with Intel Corp drained earnings and sales slipped.

VIA had a net loss of NT$646 million (US$18.6 million) in the first quarter, compared with net income of NT$1.1 billion a year ago.

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