Mon, Oct 28, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Win Semiconductors sees solid quarter

CHIPMAKER:Demand for products from its smartphone customers has been increasing and next year is likely to be strong as well on the back of 5G phones and applications

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Win Semiconductors Corp (Win Semi, 穩懋半導體) holds a strong outlook for the current quarter, thanks to resilient demand from smartphone and infrastructure segments.

The world’s largest compound semiconductor foundry, which is 4.72 percent owned by Avago Technologies Ltd, last week said it expects revenue to grow by a mid-single-digit percentage to a record high, compared with the NT$6.4 billion (US$209.2 million at the current exchange rate) that it made last quarter.

That would boost revenue this year by 20 percent from last year’s NT$17.31 billion, the company forecast on Friday.

“Almost all smartphone customers are showing increased demand for our products in the fourth quarter, compared with the third quarter,” Win Semi president Steven Chen (陳舜平) told investors in a teleconference.

This is a rare case for the company, which tends to see revenue peak in the third quarter of a year, Chen said.

The unusual boon comes amid strong demand for power amplifier (PA), Wi-Fi and vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) chips, he said.

VCSEL chips are used in 3D face recognition applications, acting as a lighting source that provides even facial illumination with infrared light.

“That means our customers are outselling smartphones more than people had thought,” Chen said.

Gross margin for this quarter is to remain at a similar level to last quarter’s 42.1 percent, which was a historical high, he said.

Win Semi is bullish about the business outlook for next year, citing the growing demand from 5G smartphones, applications and network deployment.

“We are optimistic about next year’s outlook,” Chen said.

“There will be more 5G smartphones and applications after the [commercial] launch this year [of 5G],” he said.

“We strongly believe 5G will be a growth engine for the company in the next few years,” he added.

Win Semi, which ships PA chips for 5G-enabled phones and other products, said 5G-related chips have contributed more than 10 percent of its total revenue.

To satisfy customers’ demand for 5G chips, the company plans to expand its monthly capacity from 36,000 wafers to 41,000 wafers next year, it said.

Robust demand for smartphone-related chips — including VCSEL and Wi-Fi chips — helped boost its net profit last quarter to a historical high of NT$1.64 billion, or earnings of NT$3.9 per share, it said.

That compares with net profit of NT$384 million a year earlier and NT$1.19 billion in the previous quarter.

Gross margin improved significantly to 42.1 percent, from 34 percent in the second quarter, due to the high utilization rate of 95 percent, up from 80 percent in the previous quarter, the company said.

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