Sat, Jul 25, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Chartered Semi posts a smaller-than-expected loss


Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd (特許),the world’s third-largest maker of customized chips, posted a smaller-than-expected loss in the second quarter as orders improved.

The net loss was US$39.4 million, compared with a profit of US$43.4 million a year earlier, the Singapore-based company said in a statement yesterday. The loss was narrower than the median US$44.7 million loss estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of four analysts. Sales fell 24 percent to US$349 million.

Chartered competes with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) in the contract chipmaking business.

The company joins Intel Corp, the world’s biggest chipmaker, and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co in beating analysts’ estimates as orders recover and clients finish trimming inventory stockpiles. Chartered last month forecast a net loss of between US$45 million and US$53 million in the quarter, less than an April projection for a deficit of US$54 million to US$64 million.

Santa Clara, California-based Intel last week forecast sales and profit margins that topped analyst predictions. Personal computer makers are boosting orders for chips in anticipation of increased demand in the second half, chief executive officer Paul Otellini said at the time.

Samsung, Asia’s biggest maker of chips, flat screens and cellphones, reported an unexpected 5.2 percent profit gain yesterday, helped by a recovery in demand for liquid-crystal-display televisions and handsets.

Chartered forecast a net loss of between US$17 million and US$27 million in the current quarter on revenue of between US$382 million and US$394 million, the statement said.

“Our third-quarter guidance suggests we are on path to recover,” chief executive officer Chia Song Hwee (謝松輝) said in a telephone interview yesterday. “We see a great strength in recovery into the third quarter.”

Chia said the company raised its budget for capital spending this year to US$500 million from US$375 million and had rehired some workers as a result of an increase in orders.

In related news, Hynix Semiconductor Inc reported its smallest loss in seven quarters after semiconductor prices rebounded and the stronger won reduced the cost of its foreign debt.

The second-quarter net loss was 50.7 billion won, (US$41 million), compared with a deficit of 707.8 billion won a year earlier, Ichon, South Korea-based Hynix said yesterday. Hynix was expected to report net income of 49 billion won, according to the median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The operating loss widened 21 percent to 221.2 billion won from 183.4 billion won.

That compared with a projected operating loss of 191 billion won, based on the median estimate in the Bloomberg survey.

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