Mon, Feb 12, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Win maps out growth plan

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Win Semiconductors Corp (穩懋) last week said it sees two major driving forces for the company in the next few years, after experiencing a challenging but fruitful year last year.

The remarks came after the company on Tuesday last week reported that last year’s revenue and net income hit record levels, with all-time high earnings per share of NT$9.34.

“We continue to be optimistic about the development of optical devices, especially with our leading position in 3D sensing applied in handhelds,” Win Semiconductors said in a statement after the firm’s earnings call.

The company reportedly started making vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) components for California-based Lumentum Holdings Inc late last year, which is used by Apple Inc’s new TrueDepth front-facing camera for facial recognition in the iPhone X.

Driven by VCSEL wafer demand from the iPhone X, the company posted better-than-expected revenue for last quarter at NT$5.58 billion (US$189.8 million), up 74 percent from a year earlier.

“For the next few years, with increasing penetration of 3D sensing into more handhelds and brands, future applications of AR/VR [augmented reality/virtual reality], and the maturity of ADAS/LIDAR [advanced driver-assistance system/light detection and ranging], we expect rapid growth for optical device applications,” the company said.

In addition, Win Semiconductors said it is confident that its technologies used in the development of power amplifier chips and applications related to 5G infrastructure are going to significantly widen the gap between it and its rivals.

“We believe optical devices and 5G will be the two growth drivers in the next few years,” it said.

Win Semiconductors is the world’s leading gallium arsenide wafer foundry services provider for monolithic microwave chips and radio frequency chips.

Last year, it saw revenue grow 25 percent year-on-year to NT$17.09 billion and net income rise 20 percent to NT$3.72 billion.

Gross margin increased from 36.7 to 37 percent, and operating margin expanded from 25.7 to 26.7 percent, company data showed.

The foreign-exchange rate remains a key risk in addition to seasonal factors, the company said.

It said if there is no reverse of the New Taiwan dollar appreciation trend, revenue for this quarter is expected to decline by a percentage in the low 20s, from last quarter’s NT$5.58 billion.

However, the quarterly percentage decline could be in the high teens in US dollar terms, it added.

Gross margin is also forecast to be lower than last quarter’s 38.3 percent due to seasonal factors, the company said.

Win Semiconductors said its capital expenditure would rise to NT$7 billion this year, compared with NT$3.99 billion last year.

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