Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進), which makes driver integrated circuits (ICs) for flat panels, yesterday said its net profits plunged 94 percent last quarter to NT$24 million (US$ 821,500) from a year ago, as the global economic slowdown depressed demand for LCD panels in TVs and PCs.
After deducting income tax, Vanguard swung into a loss of NT$10 million, compared with NT$44 million in pre-tax profits in the fourth quarter of last year, and pre-tax profits of NT$386 million a year ago, the company said in a statement.
On a quarterly basis, first-quarter net profits fell 13 percent from NT$28 million in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the company.
This quarter, Vanguard said it expects shipments to grow anywhere from 44 percent to 46 percent over last quarter’s 250,000 8-inch wafers in the first three quarters, joining Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in forecasting a strong second-quarter outlook after customers ended quarter-long inventory digestion. TSMC holds a 37 percent share in Vanguard.
Company vice president D. L. Tseng (曾棟樑) attributed the growth to inventory restocking and new customer demand.
The factory utilization rate is expected to rise to between 84 percent and 86 percent from 61 percent last quarter. Gross margin is expected to rebound from 11 percent last quarter to between 27 percent and 29 percent this quarter, and average selling price to increase by 1 percent to reach 3 percent quarter-on-quarter, reversing a first-quarter decline of 4 percent, the company said.