MediaTek’s October sales fell on fewer working days

CHIP SECTOR::Chip packager ASE’s revenue rose on the back of strong smartphone demand, while chipmaker Macronix’s sales remained far below break-even point

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - Page 13

MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s biggest handset chip designer, yesterday said that its revenue last month contracted 4.63 percent from September, when its sales hit a two-and-a-half-year high.

Revenue fell to NT$10.5 billion (US$360 million), compared with NT$11.01 billion in the prior month, because of fewer working days, the company said.

However, on an annual basis, sales were up 40 percent from the NT$7.53 billion posted in October last year, bolstered by replacement demand for smartphones in China.

ON TRACK

The figure was in line with the company’s forecast, “with the company booking 35 percent of its fourth-quarter estimate and achieving the midpoint of its [sales] guidance,” Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams said in a report released yesterday

MediaTek said on Oct. 29 that it expected revenues to range between NT$28.9 billion and NT$30.9 billion during the seasonally slow fourth quarter, implying a sequential decline of 2 percent at worst or growth of 5 percent at best.

Abrams added that the company would still achieve the midrange of its revenue forecast even if sales declined 4 percent this month and next.

Because of robust demand from China for its new smartphone chips, MediaTek raised its smartphone chip shipment forecast for the second time on Oct. 29 to more than 40 million units for this year, from its previous estimate of 35 million units, with 90 percent of the shipments going to China.

MediaTek’s China customers include Huawei Technologies Co (華為), ZTE Corp (中興) and Lenovo Group (聯想).

CHIP PACKAGER

Separately, the world’s biggest chip packager, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月半導體), yesterday posted NT$17.63 billion in revenue for last month, marking its strongest monthly revenue in about two years. The figure was up 3.34 percent from September’s NT$17.06 billion and 12 percent from NT$15.73 billion a year ago.

ASE said last month that shipments would grow by 3 to 5 percent sequentially this quarter, driven by end demand from the communications sector — especially high-end smartphones.

As prices are expected to drop 3 percent quarter-on-quarter, ASE said a quarterly revenue growth of 5 to 7 percent this quarter from NT$48.99 billion last quarter would be reasonable.

CHIPMAKER

Macronix International Co (旺宏電子), which supplies memory chips to Japanese video game console maker Nintendo Inc, yesterday said its revenue last month dropped 7.7 percent from September and declined more than 29 percent from a year ago to NT$2.34 billion — far below its estimate of NT$3 billion to break even.

The company said it expected a weaker quarter for this quarter because of slack seasonal demand and heavy pricing pressure.