Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (
Hsinchu-based Powerchip expects NT$138 million (US$4 million) of net income this year as the average price for the most widely used memory chip rises to more than US$5 in the fourth quarter, the company said in a statement.
Powerchip plans to sell up to US$350 million of shares and bonds in the fourth quarter, according to chairman Frank Huang (
"Frank is always bullish about fundraising," said Rick Hsu (徐禕成), an analyst with Nomura Securities. "Anything less than US$200 million is possible."
The company's forecast may indicate the memory-chip industry is recovering from a more than two-year slump in demand for personal computers, the main users of the semiconductors. The only memory-chip makers to post profits last year were South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co, the world's No. 1 supplier, and Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), Taiwan's biggest maker.
Powerchip will probably exceed its profit target for this year, said Hsu, who's forecasting NT$648 million in net income for Powerchip this year. Taiwanese suppliers are benefiting from being among the first in the world to offer so-called DDR400 memory chips that work with new semiconductors from Intel Corp to speed the operation of personal computers.
Powerchip said it expects to post a second-quarter loss of NT$900 million before returning to profit in the second half. The company had a NT$2 billion loss in the three months ended March 31, following annual losses of NT$1.5 billion last year and NT$6.4 billion in 2001.
Powerchip plans to more than double its production of 12-inch silicon wafers to 36,000 a month by the end of next year. The company has one 12-inch wafer factory in operation, which it expects to be producing 15,000 wafers a month by the end of this year.