Tue, Jul 29, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Macronix' second quarter loss down by third to NT$3bn

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Macronix International Co (旺宏電子), the nation's largest maker of memory chips for electronic games, had a loss of NT$3 billion (US$87 million) in the three months ended June 30, its seventh straight unprofitable quarter.

The second-quarter loss narrowed by a third to 81 NT cents a share, from NT$4.5 billion, or NT$1.21 a share, a year earlier because of better cost controls, the company said. Sales rose 3 percent to NT$4 billion from NT$3.9 billion.

Macronix supplies so-called mask read-only memory chips to Japanese video-game maker Nintendo Co, its largest customer. Macronix said it aims to make more flash memory chips, which store phone numbers and data in cell phones. Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co, the world's biggest chipmakers, are rivals in the flash memory business.

The company said sales will increase this quarter from the second quarter and its factory usage rate will rise to more than 80 percent from 64 percent in the second quarter.

Macronix shares dropped NT$0.40, or 4.3 percent, to NT$9 in Taipei before the results announcement. The shares have fallen 17 percent this year, against a 23 percent rise in the TAIEX.

Standard & Poor's on May 28 cut Macronix's debt rating one level, citing a decline in the company's operating performance and a pessimistic outlook. The rating was cut to B from B+, both junk grade. The rating for the company's unsecured convertible bond was one level lower. The ratings have a negative outlook, which means S&P is more likely to cut them again.

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