Thu, Nov 01, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Macronix announces profit growth for third quarter

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Macronix International Co (旺宏電子), which produces so-called ROM products and NOR flash memory chips for clients, yesterday said profits grew 89.91 percent year-on-year to NT$2.07 billion (US$64 million) in the third quarter on higher shipments.

The third-quarter profit was up 158.75 percent from the previous quarter when the company reported NT$801 million profit in July.

Earnings per share were NT$0.69 in the three months ended September, up from NT$0.27 in the previous quarter and NT$0.37 a year earlier, chairman Miin Wu (吳敏求) told investors in a Webcast presentation yesterday.

The company saw revenue grow 8 percent year-on-year to NT$7.24 billion in the third quarter, up 23 percent from the previous quarter due to strong customer demand for its products amid stable prices, Wu said.

Gross margin reached 44 percent in the third quarter on technological advances and cost-cutting efforts, higher than a forecast of between 38 percent and 40 percent the company made three months ago.

"Our gross margin and operating margin have reached record highs since the second quarter of 2001," Wu said.

Wu predicted a demand slowdown in the fourth quarter.

He said shipment of the company's ROM products would drop this quarter from last quarter because of weakness in both gaming and consumer electronics demands, partly affected by the US credit crunch problem.

As for the output of NOR flash memory, Wu said demand for this type of product was stabilizing and would follow the general cyclical pattern in the information and communications technology industry.

The company's average selling prices (ASPs) grew two percent in the third quarter, lower than its earlier forecast of an up to 5 percent increase.

Paul Yeh (葉沛甫), vice president and chief financial officer of Macronix, said the downside pressure on prices remained, especially on flash memory.

While the company said it was confident about bearing the price pressure given its improved process technology, increased shipments of high-density products and other cost reduction efforts, it expected unit shipment to drop by 5 percent to 10 percent and ASPs to decline by 8 percent to10 percent in current quarter from the third quarter.

Gross margin rate is likely to drop to between 38 percent and 40 percent this quarter from 44 percent in the third quarter. Capacity utilization rate is expected to reach 80 percent to 85 percent in the fourth quarter from 95 percent in the previous quarter.

Wu said industry visibility would become clear after Thanksgiving.

He said the company's board has approved NT$1 billion capital spending for the first quarter of next year, up from NT$160 million for the fourth quarter. That will be used for 75nm technology migration and capacity expansion, he said.

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