Mon, Apr 06, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Investors await TSMC symposium, conference

UPDATED ASSESSMENT:TSMC president and co-chief executive officer Mark Liu is expected to inform the market about the climate of the global semiconductor industry

Staff writer, with CNA

Investors are waiting for comments to be made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in an upcoming symposium and investors’ conference for more clues about the outlook for the global semiconductor sector before they decide what to do with TSMC shares, market analysts said on Saturday.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, has scheduled three technology symposiums in the US later this month.

In the first, to be held tomorrow in San Jose, California, TSMC president and co-chief executive officer Mark Liu (劉德音) is expected to make a keynote speech that the market is likely to pay attention to for a better understanding of the climate of the global semiconductor industry.

The other two symposiums are to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, and Austin, Texas, on Tuesday and Thursday next week respectively.

TSMC is also scheduled to hold an investors’ conference on Thursday next week to release its first-quarter results and give sales guidance for the second quarter.

TSMC shares have faced sell-offs in recent sessions amid fears that a stronger US dollar has boosted inventories of the chipmaker’s customers so that these US-based buyers have cut orders with the Taiwanese firm.

Before a 2.08 percent technical rebound on Thursday last week, TSMC shares had fallen more than 6 percent since March 23, when heavy foreign institutional selling set in. The stock closed at NT$147 on Thursday in Taipei trading, the last trading session of the week. The local bourse closed on Friday for a public holiday.

Concerns among many institutional investors have been running deeper that TSMC could see its sales for the second quarter change little from the first quarter due to the higher inventory levels in the industry, although the global semiconductor industry is expected to climb out of slow-season effects in the January-to-March period.

Some other institutional investors appeared even more downbeat, expecting TSMC to post lower revenue for the second quarter. The market has raised fears that the global wafer foundry business will fail to achieve a targeted 12 percent sales increase this year.

TSMC had forecast that its consolidated sales would range between NT$221 billion and NT$224 billion (US$7.06 billion and US$7.16 billion), little changed from NT$222.52 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.

Analysts said that Liu could give an updated assessment on the global industry in the symposium tomorrow, which could dispel or confirm market fears on weakness in the second quarter, or even the whole of this year.

TSMC said it is still evaluating the impact of a stronger US dollar, and it plans to give a comprehensive assessment in the investors’ conference on its operations for the second quarter.

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