Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品), the world’s second-largest chip tester and packager, posted better-than-expected quarterly net income for last quarter after gross margins expanded to the highest level in one-and-a-half years.
In the quarter ending on Dec. 31, net income rose 5 percent to NT$1.17 billion (US$39.5 million), compared with NT$1.11 billion in the same period of 2010.
The fourth-quarter earnings exceeded a NT$893 million estimate by Credit Suisse and a consensus figure of NT$1.12 billion, according to a report released by the brokerage to its clients yesterday.
On a quarterly basis, that meant a decline of 20 percent from NT$1.47 billion, according to the company’s financial statement posted on its Web site on Tuesday.
Gross margin improved to 16 percent last quarter, compared with 15.2 percent in the third quarter and 13.8 percent in the same period of 2010.
That provided “evidence that the company has successfully used the move to copper, about 30 percent of wirebonding, to offset the gold cost, which increased to US$1,722 and the New Taiwan dollar appreciation to NT$30.2 [against the US dollar] in the quarter,” Credit Suisse’s Randy Abrams said in the report.
Abrams also said better revenues helped to drive Siliconware’s net income in the final quarter of last year.
Revenues dropped at a slower rate of 3.8 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$15.7 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to a contraction of up to 8 percent quarterly the company forecast in October last year.
Siliconware is expected to see revenues shrink 7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of this year, which is a seasonally slack period, Abrams projected.
He expected Siliconware’s business to rebound next quarter, boosted by demand for inventory rebuilding from end products from PCs and handsets to consumer electronics.
For the whole of last year, Siliconware earned NT$4.84 billion, or NT$1.55 per share, down 14 percent from 2010’s NT$5.63 billion, or NT$1.8 a share.