Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday posted record high monthly sales again at NT$37.64 billion (US$1.21 billion), bringing its third-quarter revenue slightly above the company’s forecast.
TSMC’s sales last month beat the street consensus of NT$35.7 billion, or 5 percent growth from August, said Roland Shu (徐振志), a semiconductor analyst with Citigroup Inc, in a report released yesterday.
“We believe the strength in September, or the third quarter, was mainly from CDMA, wireless, CMOS image sensor and handset names,” Shu said.
During the period from July to last month, TSMC’s revenues increased 6.95 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$112.25 billion, higher than the chipmaker’s projected range from NT$109 billion to NT$111 billion, as customer demand exceeded capacity.
The third quarter matched Credit Suisse’s projection of NT$112 billion after a raise.
“The higher sales should take gross margin to the top end of the [chipmaker’s] guidance at 49.8 percent,” Randy Abrams said in a report on Wednesday.
Net income is expected to rise to NT$41.55 billion in that period, from NT$40.28 billion in the three-month period ending on June 30.
“The company is seeing strength with wireless and smartphones keeping 12-inch [chip] volumes full into the fourth quarter,” Abrams said.
Abrams also increased his forecast for TSMC’s fourth quarter revenues, saying that TSMC’s revenues would drop a mere 3.7 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$107.99 billion, rather than the 13-percent contraction to NT$95.84 billion estimated previously.
Separately, United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) reported yesterday that last month’s sales rose 0.54 percent month-on-month to NT$10.94 billion, setting a six-year high.
In the third quarter, UMC’s revenues grew 9.75 percent to NT$32.65 billion, hitting the high end of the world’s second-biggest contract chipmaker’s forecast of 5 percent to 10 percent quarterly growth.
UMC told investors in August that customer demand was strong, from the consumer electronics sector in particular, and constraint capacity was limiting its revenues growth. All factories would be fully used in the third quarter, UMC chief executive Sun Shih-wei (孫世偉) said at the time.
Next quarter, UMC is expected to see revenues down by 3.2 percent to NT$31.67 billion, Credit Suisse predicted. Factory utilization at its 12-inch is expected to remain full, but overall factory usage would fall to around 90 percent next quarter, the Swiss brokerage said.
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