MediaTek Inc (聯發科), Taiwan’s biggest handset chip designer, yesterday said revenue rose 1.29 percent last month, ending three consecutive monthly declines, thanks to inventory buildup ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday shopping season in China.
Bucking the historical downtrend last month, revenue grew to NT$7.63 billion (US$244 million), compared with NT$7.53 billion in October, MediaTek said in a statement filed with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Last month’s figure climbed 3.65 percent from NT$7.36 billion during the same period last year.
The Lunar New Year holidays next month will fall earlier than normal instead of February.
MediaTek’s revenue for last month was slightly higher than the NT$7.5 billion estimated by Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams.
“We believe December should see modest month-on-month growth as supply chain prepares for pre-Chinese New Year inventory build,” Abrams said in a research note issued yesterday.
MediaTek would track toward the low end of the company’s guidance for this quarter, he said.
Revenue would be between NT$22.9 billion and NT$24.5 billion in the three-month period ending this month, MediaTek forecast in October.
The chipmaker made a combined of NT$15.16 billion last month and in October.
Abrams said MediaTek’s revenue growth would be dragged by seasonally slowing demand for feature phones and potentially weak demand in India on the depreciating rupee.
Besides, MediaTek delayed shipments of its smartphone chips as component supply was unable to meet strong demand for the chips, according to Abrams.
To meet its target of shipping 10 million units this year, MediaTek would have to ship 6 million units this quarter after shipping 4 million as of the third quarter.
Abrams retained his “underperform” rating for MediaTek with the target price at NT$306.
Separately, local memorychip maker Macronix Electronics Inc (旺宏電子) yesterday raised its revenue and profit forecasts for this quarter. Macronix supplies memory chips to Japanese game console maker Nintendo Co.
During the quarter ending Dec. 31, revenue is expected to grow at least 24 percent to between NT$8.1 billion and NT$8.3 billion, compared with NT$6.55 billion in the third quarter. In October, the chipmaker said revenues would grow to between NT$7.8 billion and NT$8 billion.
The “main reason for revising up the fourth quarter of 2011 guidance is the better demand than original expectation,” Macronix said in a statement.
Increasing demand would also push higher factory utilization to about 90 percent, higher than a previous estimate of 85 percent and higher than 79 percent last quarter.
Gross margin is expected to be between 38 and 40 percent this quarter, better than the range of 31 to 33 percent estimated in October.
“Higher gross margin rate is because of better product mix,” the chipmaker said.
Macronix also said revenue dropped 9.1 percent to NT$3.01 billion from NT$3.31 billion. That meant a 78 percent expansion from NT$1.69 billion a year ago.