Tue, Sep 11, 2012 - Page 13 News List

TSMC sets consolidated sales record

ON TRACK:The Hsinchu chipmaker said it could see higher revenue this quarter than a previous estimate given on July 19, even if growth is weaker than before

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said revenue rose to a new record-high last month, beating market consensus and analysts’ forecasts.

The results showed the Hsinchu-based chipmaker was on track to meet its third-quarter revenue guidance due to continued demand for its advanced 28 and 40-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and tablets.

The world’s largest contract chipmaker saw its consolidated revenue last month grow 2 percent to NT$49.497 billion (US$1.66 billion) from July’s NT$48.525 billion, the company said in a statement.

The 2 percent monthly increase in sales was weaker than the 11.7 percent growth seen in the previous month, reflecting the impacts of the ongoing global economic uncertainties and inventory corrections at its customers.

However, that was better than the forecast of a low single-digit percentage point slide from July made by Credit Suisse and Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券), as they both predicted earlier that July might mark the revenue peak for TSMC this year.

On an annual basis, TSMC’s revenue for last month was a 31.5 percent expansion from NT$37.65 billion in August last year, but the annual growth momentum was slower than the 37 percent increase seen in the previous month, the company’s data showed.

On July 19, TSMC forecast its revenue would hit a new record this quarter by increasing between 6 percent and 8 percent sequentially to between NT$136 billion and NT$138 billion, compared with NT$128.06 billion in the second quarter.

As the company reported combined sales of NT$98.022 billion in July and last month, with the achievement rate reaching 71.55 percent relative to the mid-point of its third-quarter revenue guidance, TSMC said it could see higher revenue this quarter than its previous estimate.

“TSMC’s third quarter revenues are now expected to be slightly higher than the guidance announced on July 19, primarily due to pull-in of certain customers’ shipments and better-than-expected mask revenue,” TSMC senior vice president and chief financial officer Lora Ho (何麗梅) said in the statement.

In the first eight months of the year, accumulated revenue rose 14.8 percent to NT$331.59 billion, from NT$288.96 billion in the same period last year, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, TSMC did not comment on a Chinese-language Economic Daily News report that it plans to increase its capital expenditure to US$10 billion next year from this year’s US$8.5 billion to expand capacity and make chips for Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc.

However, Fubon analyst William Wang (王文祺) said he was positive toward the news and viewed it a strong sign that TSMC would gain orders from Apple for high-volume processor chips.

“We expect TSMC to see volume shipments of 20nm mobile system-on-chips in 2014, with TSMC integrating both front-end and back-end processes in-house to provide turnkey solutions for Apple,” Wang said in a note yesterday.

Separately, MStar Semiconductor Inc (晨星半導體), the world’s biggest supplier of chips used in LCD TVs, also reported record revenue last month amid high seasonal demand.

It said in a stock exchange filing yesterday that its revenue rose 20.6 percent month-on-month and 11.57 percent year-on-year to NT$3.52 billion. In the first eight months, revenue expanded 8.53 percent to NT$24.31 billion from the year before, MStar said in the filing.

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