Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - Page 13 News List

TSMC reports record monthly revenue

LOOKING GOOD:The company’s chairman said that revenue for the fourth quarter was expected to be good, due to strong demand for chips used in mobile products

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported a record-high monthly revenue for last month, beating expectations of a downtrend because of an inventory correction.

Net revenue expanded 15.2 percent to NT$49.28 billion (US$1.69 billion) last month, compared with NT$42.82 billion in September.

It was also up 32.8 percent from NT$37.25 billion for the same period last year, the company said.

On Oct. 25, TSMC projected revenue would fall by 7.34 percent to 8.76 percent this quarter, to range from between NT$129 billion and NT$131 billion, from a record quarterly-revenue of NT$141.38 billion in the third quarter, citing supply chain inventory correction.

Last month’s figure beat the NT$44.65 billion estimated by Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams.

“TSMC should achieve the high end of its fourth-quarter guidance … on strength from low-cost and high-end smartphone wafer orders, while PCs stay sluggish,” Abrams said in a report released yesterday.

Abrams expected TSMC’s revenue growth to decelerate this month and next month, bringing the current quarter revenue to between NT$136 billion and NT$138 billion.

During an investors’ conference on Oct. 25, TSMC chairman and chief executive officer Morris Chang (張忠謀) said the fourth quarter would be a better period than the company had forecast three months ago, due to stronger-than-expected demand for its chips used in mobile products.

He said revenue from its advanced 28-nanometer chips would account for more than 20 percent of its overall revenue this quarter, up from 13 percent last quarter, as TSMC was gearing up to meet customers’ demand.

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world’s No. 2 contract chipmaker, also bucked the trend by reporting a 1.84 percent monthly growth in revenue for last month to NT$9.28 billion, from NT$8.26 billion in September.

Revenue was also up 12.42 percent from NT$8.26 billion a year ago.

Last month’s figure, released on Thursday, surpassed Abrams’ estimate of NT$8.9 billion as the company was tracking slightly ahead of its fourth quarter revenue forecast.

On Thursday last week, UMC forecast its revenue would shrink 6 percent to 8 percent sequentially this quarter, from NT$28.53 billion last quarter, as clients were digesting inventories.

Separately, Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進), a local supplier of driver ICs used in LCD panels, yesterday reported 23.28 percent growth in revenue at NT$1.8 billion for last month, from NT$1.46 billion in September.

On an annual basis, that was an expansion of about 78 percent from NT$1.01 billion.

Vanguard’s revenue for last month was also higher than Abrams’ estimate of NT$1.5 billion.

Abrams attributed the stronger revenue growth to robust demand from driver ICs for TV panels during China’s Golden Week holiday early last month.

Vanguard said it expected shipments this quarter to be flat, or to fall slightly from last quarter’s 350,000 wafers as some customers entered into inventory adjustment period.

Abrams said he expected Vanguard’s revenue to drop 3.6 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$4.54 billion this quarter.

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