Thu, Sep 24, 2015 - Page 13 News List

TSMC raises forecast on weak New Taiwan dollar

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, yesterday raised its revenue forecast by nearly 2 percent for the current quarter due to the weak New Taiwan dollar, but expects the figure to shrink next quarter.

TSMC said revenue is expected to rise to between NT$211 billion and NT$213 billion (US$6.35 billion and US$6.4 billion) this quarter, up from between NT$207 billion and NT$210 billion it forecast in July.

TSMC said in a statement that its “third-quarter revenue will exceed the company’s guidance given on July 16 due to a more favorable US dollar exchange rate to the NT dollar.”

TSMC’s July projection was based on the assumption that US$1 would trade for NT$31. The NT dollar fell to NT$33.25 against the greenback yesterday.

The new forecast indicates that TSMC’s revenue will grow by between 2.71 percent and 3.68 percent from NT$205.44 billion last quarter.

However, the company said revenue is expected to fall in the fourth quarter to between NT$198 billion and NT$204 billion, a decline of between 4.23 percent and 6.16 percent.

Profit margins next quarter are to be similar to those this quarter, TSMC said.

For the entire year, revenue is expected to grow by a double-digit percentage annually, in line with the company’s earlier forecast, TSMC said.

The company’s fourth-quarter revenue forecast fell short of Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Rick Hsu’s (徐稦成) estimate of NT$212 billion.

Hsu projected that TSMC would gain more A9 processor orders from Apple Inc next quarter to offset customers’ inventory corrections.

“It’s disappointing, even with the benefits of the currency move, and shows there’s weakness in orders from smartphone chip customers like Qualcomm, MediaTek (聯發科) and also non-smartphone players due to slow inventory digestion,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Mark Li said. “They will meet their full-year target, but only thanks to the currency move.”

Global smartphone shipment growth is expected to slow this year and average 7.9 percent during the next five years, compared with 34 percent growth over the past five years. Sales of all types of devices are to decline by 1 percent this year, Gartner Inc said in a report yesterday.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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