Fri, Nov 30, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Formosa SUMCO sees full capacity operation in Q1

STABLE PROSPECTS:The silicon wafer supplier expects steady market demand for its 200mm and 300mm wafers, with prices possibly continuing their uptrend

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Silicon wafer supplier Formosa SUMCO Technology Corp (台勝科) yesterday said that it expects its manufacturing capacity to be fully utilized in the first quarter of next year, thanks to stable demand from memorychip makers.

However, certain foundry customers might start showing some weakness in demand, as they digest excess inventories in the first quarter, Formosa SUMCO told an investors’ conference.

However, overall, “fundamental market demand for 300mm and 200mm wafers would still be there,” the company said, adding that it should be able to keep full capacity operation and sell all wafers produced.

The company would maintain a flexible pricing strategy and might raise silicon wafer prices further if the market stays healthy.

For this quarter, silicon wafer prices are expected to continue the uptrend of the past couple of quarters, but output might drop 2 or 3 percent sequentially this quarter, as some manufacturing equipment is to enter annual maintenance, the company said.

Despite a healthy business outlook, the company said that US-China trade tensions would be a crucial factor that could swing market demand.

The silicon wafer supplier said it would closely monitor how the trade dispute plays out.

Formosa SUMCO earlier this month reported that net profit surged 176 percent to NT$4.23 billion (US$137.2 million) in the first three quarters of this year, compared with NT$1.53 billion in the same period last year, while earnings per share soared from NT$1.97 to NT$6.38.

However, demand began showing some softness last quarter, with net profit dropping 3.5 percent to NT$1.52 billion, compared with NT$1.58 billion a quarter earlier, the firm said.

Formosa SUMCO shares yesterday rallied 6.06 percent to NT$140 in Taipei trading, marking the fourth straight session of gains.

Shares of local rival GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓) jumped 3.34 percent to NT$356.

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