Fri, Feb 14, 2020 - Page 12 News List

CHPT says customer orders not hurt by outbreak, sales to remain healthy

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Chunghwa Precision Test Technology Co (CHPT, 中華精測), which provides wafer and chip testing services, yesterday, said that the COVID-19 outbreak has not affected customer orders, as global mobile phone sales are still expected to remain healthy.

“There might have been some adjustments or delays because of the epidemic, but [the company] does not expect anything major,” CHPT president Scott Huang (黃水可) told a teleconference.

“Customers have continued to source components, such as ICs and passive components,” Huang said, adding that the company has not seen any major changes.

CHPT still expects revenue to pick up sequentially in the second and third quarters, in line with its seasonal pattern, he said.

Gross margin is to hold steady this quarter, the company said.

Over the past five years, CHPT has maintained a gross margin of between 50 percent and 55 percent.

Several market researchers have reduced their global 5G mobile phone shipment forecasts to between 200 million and 220 million units for this year, from 260 million units before the outbreak, Huang said.

However, none of the company’s customers have revised their business plans for the full year, he said.

“Neither have our customers halted 5G deployment,” he said.

The Taoyuan-based company provides testing services to the communication industry’s A-listers, including Apple Inc and Huawei Technologies Co’s (華為) chip design arm, Hisilicon Technologies Co (海思半導體), as well as iPhone chip supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電).

CHPT is the most expensive stock on the Taipei Exchange, with the share price topping NT$1,000 yesterday.

The company is continuing a recruitment campaign that started in October last year to support its capacity expansion to meet customer demand for its new vertical probe card (VPC) service, Huang said.

It has said it plans to hire 1,000 engineers in Taiwan.

The company expects VPC to be a major growth driver this year after landing orders last year from a first-tier client to test application processors for phones, he said.

Net profit edged up 0.61 percent year-on-year to NT$166 million (US$5.53 million) in the final quarter of last year, CHPT said on Wednesday.

On a quarterly basis, that represented a decline of 33.47 percent from NT$248 million.

Earnings per share improved to NT$5.06 last quarter from NT$5.02 a year ago, but slid from NT$7.55 in the third quarter last year.

Gross margin improved to 53.7 percent last quarter from 52.4 percent a year earlier, but declined from 54.8 percent a quarter earlier.

On a full-year basis, net profit fell 12.71 percent to NT$625 million. Earnings per share declined to NT$19.07 from NT$21.84 in 2018.

The company’s board of directors approved a plan to boost the payout ratio to 52 percent as it plans to distribute a cash dividend of NT$10 per share, unchanged from last year.

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