Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported a 12 percent monthly growth in revenue for last month, helping the world’s top contract chipmaker hit its quarterly revenue target.
Revenue increased to NT$49.68 billion (US$1.64 billion) last month from November’s NT$44.33 billion.
In the final quarter of last year, revenue shrank 10.31 percent to NT$145.81 billion, matching the chipmaker’s forecast range of NT$144 billion to NT$147 billion.
TSMC’s fourth-quarter revenue slightly surpassed Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams’ forecast of NT$145 billion.
For all of last year, TSMC’s revenue grew by 17.8 percent to NT$597.02 billion, compared with NT$506.75 billion in 2012, approaching the firm’s own high-end forecast of an 18 percent annual expansion.
Abrams said global chipmakers and chip packagers could see revenue drop by a single-digit percentage point this quarter due to continued inventory adjustments by their clients.
They would also see impact from the short-lived PC rebound, fewer working days because of the Lunar New Year holiday and low seasonal demand for smartphones in China, he said in a report on Monday.
Before the release of the fourth-quarter sales, shares of TSMC rose 0.99 percent to close at NT$102 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday after the stock staged a technical rebound from a plunge seen in Thursday’s trading session.
TSMC shares tumbled 2.88 percent on Thursday amid rumors that that chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) had died.
Appearing before reporters later in the day, Chang asked the media to use a large photograph of him to prove he was healthy.
Since the rumors had impacted market orders, Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman William Tseng (曾銘宗) said the commission told the exchange regulator to find out where the speculation might have come from.
Meanwhile, rival United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) on Thursday reported the fifth straight month of declining revenue, to NT$9.91 billion last month, causing the fourth-quarter revenue to drop 8.02 percent to NT$30.73 billion from NT$33.41 billion in the third quarter.
However, that was better than the company’s guidance of a sequential fall of between 10 percent and 12 percent.
Abrams forecast UMC’s factory utilization will maintain the same low level of 80 percent this quarter from last quarter, while the firm’s revenue could fall 3.6 percent quarter-on-quarter this quarter.
Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進), which makes driver ICs used in flat panels, also released its latest sales data yesterday, with revenue increasing 1.69 percent month-on-month to NT$1.81 billion last month on increased wafer shipments.
Last quarter, revenue contracted 3.5 percent to NT$5.4 billion from NT$5.59 billion in the third quarter last year.
Additional reporting by CNA