Wed, Jan 08, 2014 - Page 14 News List

ASE posts growth, beating forecasts

ROBUST:Strong orders from Apple have buoyed the world’s largest chip packager, with analysts also attributing growth to its advanced system-in-package business

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體) yesterday posted 13 percent sequential growth in revenue last quarter, beating analysts’ forecasts on the back of strong orders from Apple Inc.

ASE’s revenue expanded to NT$64.16 billion (US$2.12 billion) during the quarter ending on Dec. 31, compared with NT$56.75 billion in the previous quarter, ASE said.

The figure surpassed the NT$63.5 billion estimated by Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams and the market consensus of NT$56.23 billion.

ASE’s sales for last month also surpassed Abrams’ estimate. The firm posted a lower-than-expected decline of 2.5 percent in monthly revenue of NT$21.43 billion last month, compared with Abrams’ 5.5 percent monthly reduction.

He said the company’s better performance reflected its strength in the advanced system-in-package (SIP) business.

Abrams, who last month said that ASE would provide SIP services for fingerprint sensors used in Apple’s iPhone 5S, forecast the company would post a high single-digit percentage decline in revenue for the current quarter, citing a new round of customer inventory control, fewer working days and the low season for Chinese smartphones.

For the whole of last year, ASE set an all-time revenue record of NT$219.86 billion, up 13.35 percent from NT$193.97 billion in 2012, according to a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Abrams retained his “outperform” rating on ASE, with a target price of NT$31.5, implying a 17.5 percent uptick from ASE’s closing price of NT$26.8 yesterday.

On Monday, rival Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密) reported consolidated sales of NT$18.84 billion for last quarter, down 1.3 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Last month alone, the firm’s sales totaled NT$6.09 billion, down 1.77 percent month-on-month, but up 26.54 percent year-on-year. It was the seventh consecutive month that the firm’s sales topped NT$6 billion.

Meanwhile, memory chipmaker Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電) yesterday said that its revenue shrank 4.52 percent last month to NT$2.68 billion, from NT$2.81 billion in November.

That brought Winbond’s revenue last quarter to fall slightly by 1 percent to NT$8.3 billion from NT$8.39 billion in the third quarter last year.

The result met Winbond president Chan Tung-yi’s (詹東義) forecast in October that the fourth quarter last year would be a better period than that of 2012, when revenue contracted by 5 percent sequentially, thanks to increased demand for its DRAM chips.

Macronix International Co Ltd (旺宏電子), which supplies chips to Japanese video game console maker Nintendo Co, yesterday posted its smallest monthly revenue in six months at NT$1.67 billion.

In the final quarter of last year, Macronix’s revenue fell 12.8 percent to NT$5.86 billion, compared with NT$6.72 billion in the previous quarter.

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