Fri, May 12, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Asset disposal gain helps ChipMOS post record profit

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

ChipMOS Technologies Inc chairman S.J. Cheng speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Hung Yu-fang, Taipei Times

ChipMOS Technologies Inc (南茂), the world’s No. 2 LCD driver IC packaging and testing service provider, yesterday said that first-quarter net profit surged to a record NT$2.38 billion (U$78.8 million), thanks to robust demand for driver ICs used in flat-panel TVs and an asset disposal gain.

The figure, which beat the company’s forecast of NT$2.27 billion, represented a more than six-fold increase from NT$348.4 million in the same period last year.

Earnings per share climbed to NT$2.77 last quarter, compared with NT$0.4 a year earlier and NT$0.72 in the previous quarter.

Last quarter’s bottom line was lifted by an asset disposal gain of NT$2 billion from selling a 52 percent stake in its Chinese driver IC manufacturing subsidiary, ChipMOS Technologies (Shanghai) Ltd (上海宏茂), to a consortium of investors led by China’s Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd (清華紫光).

A solid core operating performance also helped offset a foreign-exchange loss of NT$388 million last quarter, the company said.

“Strong demand for large-sized LCD panels boosted our driver IC packaging business, allowing it to buck a seasonally weak first quarter,” ChipMOS chairman S.J. Cheng (鄭世杰) told investors in a teleconference.

Positive signals from customers indicate that the growth momentum will extend into the current quarter and possibly beyond, fueled by demand for niche DRAM and NOR Flash memorychips, Cheng said.

“We have seen significant growth recently, which will last for the next few quarters,” Cheng said.

The company should also benefit from rising penetration of ultra-high-definition, or 4K2K, TV panels, as well as increasing adoption of OLED panels, 3D sensors and touch sensors for phones, he said.

“We believe the second half of this year will be a better period than the first half, as customers launch new products and expand their market shares,” Cheng said.

Cheng did not provide an estimate for revenue this quarter, but said it should be higher than last quarter’s NT$4.56 billion.

Factory utilization should also be higher than last quarter’s 76 percent, he said.

ChipMOS plans to spend NT$5 billion on capital expenditure this year to boost its driver IC packaging service capacity.

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