Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares hit a new record in midday trading yesterday, bringing the world’s largest contract chipmaker’s market capitalization to NT$4.31 trillion (US$133.82 billion).
The stock price of TSMC increased 0.3 percent to NT$166.50 yesterday morning before closing flat at NT$166, the record it set on Friday last week.
The share price surge solidified TSMC’s position as the most valuable listed company in Taiwan, well ahead of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd’s (鴻海精密) NT$1.3 trillion and Chunghwa Telecom Co’s (中華電信) NT$923.14 billion.
TSMC, which supplies chips to Apple Inc’s iPhones, is a favorite with foreign investors, whose holdings increased from 77.13 percent of the company’s stock at the beginning of the year to 78.76 percent as of Friday last week, Taiwan Stock Exchange statistics showed.
The TAIEX inched up 0.26 percent yesterday.
TSMC is expected to give its latest business outlook and release last quarter’s earnings report on Thursday next week, with investors eying TSMC’s order gains from Apple for new iPhones.
TSMC “should see a sharp increase in its 16-nanometer orders in the second half with the help of a share gain in Apple’s A10 application processor,” BNP Paribas semiconductor analyst Laura Chen (陳佳儀) said in a report released on June 24.
As a result, Apple’s direct sales contribution is expected to double to 15 percent of TSMC’s revenue in the second half of this year, compared with 7 to 8 percent last year, Chen said.
Chen expects TSMC to retain its strong position in Apple’s supply chain over the next two years, as Samsung Electronics Co is facing challenges in improving a new chip packaging technology’s yield.
She retained her “Buy” rating on TSMC.
Chen added that order “inflow from major clients, especially HiSilicon Technologies Co (海思半導體), MediaTek Inc (聯發科) and Qualcomm Inc, looks set to remain strong due to increasing smartphone demand in China.”
TSMC’s 28-nanometer utilization rate is expected to be fully loaded in the second and third quarters, which would support the company’s sales and margins, Chen said.
The chipmaker was expected to grow its net profit by 0.77 percent sequentially to NT$65.3 billion last quarter, compared with NT$64.8 billion in the first quarter, she said.
TSMC’s net profit is expected to expand 1.31 percent to NT$310.6 billion this year, from NT$306.57 billion last year, she said.
Its revenue is expected to increase 9.39 percent to NT$922.7 billion this year from NT$843.5 billion last year, she added.
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