Slack seasonal demand cuts MediaTek revenue

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - Page 13

MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s top handset chip designer, yesterday posted its weakest monthly revenue in five months on seasonally slack demand, a familiar story for most local chip companies.

Revenue slipped 17.57 percent to NT$8.65 billion (US$297 million) last month from October’s NT$1.05 billion. On an annual basis, the figure was an increase of 13.43 percent from NT$7.63 billion a year ago.

Eric Chen (陳慧明), an analyst for Daiwa Capital Markets, yesterday said he expected MediaTek’s revenue in the current quarter would “reach the low end of its guidance.”

That meant MediaTek’s fourth-quarter revenue would approximately fall 2 percent to NT$28.8 billion from the third quarter’s NT$29.47 billion, based on the chip company’s revenue forecast in October.

The quarterly decline would be less than the 18 percent sequential contraction on average over the past five years.

Due to a new wave of replacement demand for smartphones, “there will be less impact from seasonal factors” this quarter, MediaTek president Hsieh Ching-jiang (謝清江) told investors in October.

Commenting on MediaTek’s announcement to push back the acquisition of local TV chip supplier MStar Semiconductor Inc (晨星) by five months, Chen said MediaTek shares would fall by 3 percent to 4 percent if the deal failed.

Due to a lack of synergy and cost efficiency, MediaTek’s net profits would slide to NT$17.73 per share next year, from NT$19.14 per share estimated by Chen for this year, according to Daiwa’s report.

RATING

Chen retained a “buy” rating on MediaTek as he believes the deal will happen at a later date.

In a separate statement, United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) yesterday said its revenue dropped 2.92 percent to NT$9.01 billion last month, compared with NT$9.45 billion in the prior month. On an annual basis, that was 11.72 percent growth from the NT$8.07 billion posted this year.

UMC forecast that revenue would fall by 6 percent to 8 percent sequentially this quarter as clients are still digesting excessive inventories.

Half of UMC’s revenue came from chips for smartphones and other devices in the communications segment.

Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進), which makes driver integrated circuits for LCD panels, yesterday said revenue fell 13 percent month-on-month to NT$1.56 billion from NT$1.8 billion, because of a decrease in wafer shipments.

Memory chipmaker Macronix International Co Ltd (旺宏電子) posted a 16.1 percent decline in revenue for last month. Revenue dropped to NT$1.96 billion last month from NT$2.34 billion in October, as demand shrank.

That was an annual contraction of 34.9 percent from NT$3.01 billion in the same period of last year.

TREND

Bucking the semiconductor sector’s recent downtrend, the world’s top chip packager Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體) posted a monthly growth in revenue of 9.9 percent for last month.

Revenue expanded to NT$19.37 billion last month, from October’s NT$17.63 billion.

That represented annual growth of 23.3 percent from NT$15.72 billion last year.