MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s biggest handset chip designer, yesterday said its sales last month rose to their highest level in seven months, with first-quarter revenue meeting an earlier forecast.
Consolidated sales grew 5.4 percent to NT$8.23 billion (US$278.3 million) last month, compared with NT$7.81 billion in the same period last year, according to a company statement. The figures represented a 32.08 percent jump from NT$6.23 billion in February.
Last month’s sales result was the company’s highest sales figure since August last year, when MediaTek reported NT$8.3 billion in sales, company data showed.
In addition to handset chips, MediaTek also designs TV controller and Wi-Fi connectivity chips. Currently, handset chips account for between 65 percent and 70 percent of the firm’s revenue.
In the three-month period ending last month, MediaTek said its revenue totaled NT$19.62 billion, down 1.27 percent from NT$19.87 billion in the same period last year.
In February, the Hsinchu-based company said it expected first--quarter revenue to fall by between 10 percent and 15 percent to between NT$19.20 billion and NT$20.40 billion from NT$22.68 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.
MediaTek’s latest sales data were slightly better than Credit -Suisse’s forecasts of NT$8.14 billion for last month and NT$19.53 billion for the first quarter respectively.
“We believe the company saw a ramp [up] through March of smartphone ICs with its 1 gigahertz product launch and also TV controllers as design wins in Japan and China have increased -following the exit of several US/Europe fabless companies,” the brokerage said in a client note yesterday.
Amid intensified competition, Trident Microsystems Inc, Zoran Corp and Broadcomm Corp gradually withdrew from the TV controller chip market last year, indicating that they would focus on the more profitable mobile phone chips used in smartphones and tablets.
Looking ahead, Credit Suisse said it predicted that MediaTek’s revenue would increase by about 20 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$23.39 billion in the second quarter, led by an increase in production of smartphone chips to 16 million units in the second quarter, up from 9 million units in the first quarter.
Separately, MStar Semiconductor Inc (晨星半導體), a strong rival to MediaTek and also the world’s biggest supplier of chips for LCD TVs, said yesterday its consolidated sales for last month were NT$3.42 billion, up 6.7 percent from NT$3.2 billion a year earlier, and 17.4 percent higher than the NT$2.91 billion it posted in February.
The company’s first-quarter revenue totaled NT$8.92 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent from NT$8.21 billion in the same period last year, but a decline of 9 percent from NT$9.8 billion in the previous quarter, MStar said in a separate statement.
However, in US dollar terms, consolidated revenue for the first quarter of this year totaled US$300 million, which was higher than the high end of the company’s early forecast on higher shipments of the chips used in TVs and mobile phones.
In February, the company, also based in Hsinchu, told investors that it expected first-quarter revenue to decline between 8 percent and 13 percent to a range of US$282 million to US$298 million, from the last quarter’s US$325 million.
Shares in MediaTek fell 2.15 percent to NT$273 and those of MStar dropped 1.72 percent to NT$171 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ahead of their sales announcement, compared with a decline of 1.37 percent on the benchmark TAIEX.