TSMC posts record annual revenue

SUSTAINED GROWTH::Despite a weak Q4, the firm’s chairman said a dip was expected and analysts remained positive, with one raising the company’s stock to ‘out-perform’

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 - Page 13

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s top contract chipmaker, yesterday reported a 16.1 percent monthly decline in revenue for last month on reduced customer inventory.

Revenue shrank to NT$37.11 billion (US$1.28 billion) last month, from November’s NT$44.25 billion, marking the weakest monthly revenue since March last year. Last month’s figure was an increase of 18.8 percent from NT$31.24 billion in the same period in 2011.

That brought the chipmaker’s fourth-quarter revenue to NT$131.3 billion, surpassing the company’s forecast range of NT$129 billion to NT$131 billion.

It also represented a quarterly 7.13 percent reduction from the third quarter’s record level of NT$141.38 billion.

TSMC chairman and chief executive officer Morris Chang (張忠謀) told investors in October that the company would experience a dip in revenue in the last quarter of last year and for this quarter because of customers’ reduced inventories.

For the whole year of last year, TSMC revenue grew 18.5 percent to a record high of NT$506.25 billion, compared with NT$427.08 billion in 2011.

Last year’s revenue figure slightly exceeded the NT$506.03 billion forecast by Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams, who upgraded TSMC’s rating to “out-perform” from “neutral” early last month.

Abrams expected TSMC’s revenue to expand at an annual rate of 18.7 percent to NT$600.76 billion this year, of which 5 percent would come from chip orders from Apple Inc.

The growth rate falls within TSMC’s target range, as Chang last month said that the company aimed to grow its revenue by an annual rate of 15 percent to 20 percent.

TSMC expects that advanced 28-nanometer chips will account for 30 percent of this year’s revenue.

Separately, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密), which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, yesterday reported record quarterly revenue of NT$988.38 billion on an unconsolidated basis for the fourth quarter of last year, after revenue rose 2.61 percent month-on-month last month.

Last month’s revenue rose to NT$360.94 billion, setting a new record high, from November’s NT$351.73 billion, backed by strong demand for consumer electronics and communications products.

That represented an annual increase of 13.88 percent from NT$316.94 billion in 2011.

Last year, Hon Hai’s total unconsolidated revenue rose 16.09 percent to NT$3.33 trillion from NT$2.77 trillion in 2011.

Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Birdy Lu (呂家霖) forecast that Hon Hai will increase its revenue by 12 percent this year, primarily boosted by the growth of Apple’s iPhone and iPad business and further large-sized LCD TV panel orders from Sharp Corp, Vizio Inc and cable-TV operators, according to a report released last week.

Shares in TSMC rallied 1 percent to NT$101 yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX, which gained 0.94 percent, while Hon Hai rose 0.91 percent to NT$88.6.