Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday revised upward its financial forecast for this quarter, citing rising demand for 28-nanometer chips and customers’ need to restock.
Revenue is to increase 0.82 percent to NT$147 billion (US$4.84 billion) this quarter, compared with NT$145.81 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, bucking the usual downtrend in the slow season, TSMC said.
Two months ago, TSMC projected that revenue was set to fall by between 5.36 and 6.7 percent sequentially to between NT$136 billion and NT$138 billion, citing seasonally weak demand in the first quarter and the supply chain’s inventory digestion.
“The uptick to the first-quarter guidance comes mainly from an increase in demand for our 28-nanometer wafers and from customers restocking their inventories,” TSMC spokesperson Lora Ho (何麗梅) said in a statement.
TSMC expects ist gross margin to rise to 47 percent this quarter from 44.5 percent last quarter, compared with the previous estimate ranging from 44.5 to 46.5 percent.
It expects operating margin to jump from 32.8 percent to to 35 percent, beating its previous estimate of between 32 and 34 percent.
“The first-quarter upside is a perhaps a good prelude to what is already anticipated will be a strong year,” Ho said.
TSMC chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) in January said the chipmaker’s revenue would grow by double-digit percentage points this year on the back of strong demand for mid-and-low-end smartphones and its growth would outpace the 10 percent annual expansion forecast for the industry as a whole.