Mon, Jul 02, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Gigabyte to see drop in profits, analysts say

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Gigabyte Technology Co Ltd (技嘉), a leading supplier of motherboards and graphics cards, is forecast to see lower profitability in the second quarter, due to a decline in shipments and graphics cards prices as the cryptocurrency mining frenzy gradually abates, Capital Investment Management Corp (群益投顧) said last week.

Cryptocurrency mining continues to suffer from tighter security and regulatory measures around the world, with bitcoin’s price having dropped about 55 percent this year, Bloomberg News said, citing the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

“The prices of major cryptocurrencies have plunged after peaking in early 2018 ... leading to persistently lower demand for cryptocurrency mining and for Gigabyte graphics card shipments, which decreased somewhat since the beginning of the second quarter,” Capital Investment said in a note on Thursday last week.

Gigabyte’s revenues reached about NT$5 billion (US$163.9 million) in April and again in May, notably lower than March’s NT$8.5 billion, and its second-quarter revenues could be less than in the first quarter, Capital Investment said.

“In our opinion, as the average selling price of graphics cards is expected to edge down, the second-quarter gross margin could underperform quarter-on-quarter,” the investment advisory firm said.

Gigabyte shipped 1.2 million graphics cards in the first quarter and the company said that shipments could see a quarterly decline of 20 percent in the second quarter, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported on Wednesday.

The company shipped between 300,000 and 350,000 graphics card units in April and again in May, compared with 450,000 in March, the report said.

Sales from motherboards accounted for 49 percent of Gigabyte’s total sales in the first quarter, followed by graphics cards at 36 percent and servers at 15 percent, the newspaper quoted company spokesman K.J. Sun (孫國仁) as saying at an investors’ conference.

The proportion of sales from graphics cards would drop quarterly in the second quarter, while sales from motherboards and servers would increase, Sun said, without elaborating.

In the second half this year, the company is expecting Nvidia Corp’s planned launch of its new family of Volta graphics processing units (GPUs) to bolster graphics card sales, he said.

However, demand for graphics cards in the next few quarters might not be as robust as the company expects, despite the rapid development of the e-sports industry, Capital Investment said.

It is rumored that Nvidia’s inventory of old GPUs remains high and the launch of the new GPU model might be postponed until September or even the fourth quarter, while Intel Corp might also delay the launch of its new Cannon Lake chip, Capital Investment said.

“Gigabyte’s revenue and earnings in the second half this year could be negatively affected,” it said.

Gigabyte shares on Friday rose 3.22 percent to NT$67.4 in Taipei trading. It reported that its sales for the first five months of the year rose 40.34 percent year-on-year to NT$30.53 billion.

The company saw its shares fall 14.25 percent last month, mirroring broad-based declines among local motherboard and graphics card makers in light of the weaker demand for products used in cryptocurrency mining and the delayed launch of Nvidia’s Volta GPU.

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