Fri, Oct 17, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

Powerchip turns Q3 profit

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), the nation's third-largest maker of computer-memory chips, turned to its first profit in five quarters after sales almost tripled.

The company had a third-quarter net income of NT$1.3 billion (US$38.3 million), compared with a loss of NT$1.1 billion a year ago.

Sales, earlier reported, rose to NT$7.3 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30. from NT$2.6 billion a year ago.

The price of the memory chip most widely used in personal computers rose 25 percent in the quarter just ended, boosting earnings at Powerchip, which had a cumulative NT$4.4 billion loss in the previous four quarters. The company cut costs by shrinking its chips and using bigger silicon wafers that produce more semiconductors.

The company's net loss for the nine-month period widened to NT$1.6 billion from NT$900 million a year ago, Powerchip said after the close of the stock market.

Yang Ming ups profit estimate

Yang Ming Marine Transport (陽明海運), the nation's biggest container shipper by market value, raised its forecast pretax profit for this year by two-thirds yesterday, citing higher shipments and freight rates.

Yang Ming expects pretax profit of NT$7.85 billion (US$232 million), compared with a previous estimate of NT$4.69 billion, it said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp. The company did not give a net income figure.

Yang Ming, whose stock almost tripled since the beginning of the year, also raised its sales estimate for this year to NT$60.7 billion from NT$55.6 billion. Last year, Yang Ming reported net income of NT$1.14 billion on sales of NT$45.5 billion.

"The shipping market continues to be robust," the company said. "Shipping volumes on US and Europe routes increased more than expected and freight rates were raised."

Chinatrust mulls share buy back

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) may consider buying back some of its shares but has no definite plans to do so, a company official said.

The company's financial controller, Perry Chang (張明田), was quoted in a Chinese-language newspaper report yesterday, which cited an unidentified official as saying the lender is planning to spend NT$3 billion (US$88 million) to buy back shares to boost their price, was "not true."

"It's our company's policy to buy back shares and sell them to staff as a reward and we've done that over the last two years," Chang said. "We may consider a buyback but nothing concrete on the timing and size" has been decided.

Quanta expects shipment boost

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) expects its cellphone shipments next year to rise 66 percent to 10 million units on strong demand from Japan and Germany, the DigiTimes Web site reported, citing executive vice president Wang Wen-hua (王文華).

The world's biggest maker of notebook computers shipped a record 800,000 handsets last month to customers such as Panasonic Electric Industrial Co and Siemens AG after making only 750,000 units last year, the report said.

Quanta will lift profit this year by making handsets, the report said, without giving details on margins for the products or Quanta's profit target.

Quanta on Oct. 7 said its sales last month almost quadrupled to NT$30.8 billion (US$911 million) from NT$10.5 billion a year earlier. Sales increased from NT$25.7 billion in August.

NT dollar weakens

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