Sat, May 05, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Vanguard predicts growth due to increased demand

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進), which makes controller chips used in LCD panels, on Thursday said its revenue is forecast to grow up to 11 percent quarterly this quarter, thanks to strong customer demand for power management ICs for high-performance devices such as cryptocurrency mining machines.

“We anticipate a further increase in wafer demand from clients. For the second quarter, revenue is to reach between NT$6.7 billion and NT$7.1 billion [US$225.5 million and US$238.9 million],” Vanguard chairman Leuh Fang (方略) told an investors’ conference.

That would represent a sequential increase of between 4 and 11 percent from the NT$6.43 billion made during the January-to-March period.

“We have two months of order visibility until the end of the second quarter. Customer demand for wafers is growing across all platforms, with the highest growth rate from power management ICs,” Fang said.

Gross margin is predicted to be between 31.5 and 33.5 percent this quarter, compared with 32.2 percent last quarter, he said.

Gross margin would gain support from an uptrend in average selling prices, which is to reflect rising raw material and component costs, the company said.

Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) said in a note that Vanguard’s first-quarter results were largely in line with market expectations and the company’s revenue growth forecast for the second quarter is not bad.

“However, its gross margin guidance looks a bit low, as it will not likely see meaningful quarter-to-quarter improvement, even though it is already running at a 100 percent utilization and the percentage of power management IC sales should rise,” Yuanta analyst George Chang (張家麒) said in the note.

Commening on the company’s new fingerprint sensors, Vanguard said the products have passed clients’ qualification tests and are to enter mass production soon.

However, the fingerprint sensor’s production volume is likely to be limited by capacity availability, Vanguard said, adding that there is a discrepancy between the company’s capacity and customer demand this quarter.

Apart from the demand for power management ICs, fast-growing demand for gaming notebook computers has stimulated demand for driver ICs used in laptop displays, the company said, adding that this has resulted in supply constraints.

In the first quarter, the company’s net profit was flat from a year earlier at NT$1.15 billion, but contracted 5.7 percent from NT$1.22 billion the previous quarter, with earnings per share of NT$0.7.

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