Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), the nation’s top DRAM chipmaker, yesterday reported a smaller quarterly loss of NT$8.88 billion (US$305 million) for last quarter as shipments grew more than 30 percent after inventory returned to healthy levels.
The quarterly figure represented an improvement from losses of NT$10.09 billion in the third quarter and NT$10.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the company’s financial statement.
For the full year, Nanya reported losses of NT$36.04 billion, down from losses of NT$39.89 billion in 2011.
This year, Nanya aims to shrink losses substantially, pinning its hopes on further shifting away from its core PC DRAM chip business and significantly reducing costs through revised supply agreements, while terminating joint research and development efforts with US memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc.
“The [agreements] will greatly reduce our spending on research and development,” Nanya vice president Lee Pei-ing (李培瑛) told a press briefing.
The company plans to limit research and development spending to NT$500 million a quarter, or NT$2 billion a year, Lee said. That would be a dramatic 67 percent reduction in spending from the NT$6.15 billion allocated last year.
In addition, Nanya expects depreciation on equipment to drop NT$10 billion this year from last year, he said.
Based on the supply agreements, Nanya Technology is sourcing 5,000 12-inch wafers a month from Inotera Memories Inc (華亞科技), a joint venture between Nanya and Micron, to cut PC DRAM chips, down from 50,000 wafers a month last year, Lee said.
“Nanya Technology will be a pure investor in Inotera,” Lee said.
Nanya holds about a 25 percent stake in Inotera.
At the end of this year, DRAM chips are expected to account for about 10 percent of Nanya’s revenue, down from 50 percent last year when revenue hit NT$32.48 billion.
This quarter, the company said it expects its bottom line to improve significantly, helped by a price rebound and the dramatic cost reductions.
“Prices started bouncing back at the end of the fourth quarter. We believe this rebound will extend into the first quarter ... We are positive about the next two quarters,” Lee said, adding that supply constraints would occur next quarter based on the forecast of an unspecified market researcher.
This month alone, the blended average selling price is expected to climb about 10 percent and the uptrend is set to continue next month, Lee said.
Last quarter, the average selling price plunged almost 20 percent from the third quarter.
The company’s capital spending is expected to soar from NT$2 billion last year to NT$7.1 billion this year as it migrates to 30-nanometer (nm) process technology, the firm said.
Separately, Inotera yesterday said its losses improved to NT$3.72 billion last quarter, from the third quarter’s NT$4.39 billion and losses of NT$6.03 billion in the same period of 2011.
That brought the company’s losses to NT$15.54 billion last year, down from NT$21 billion in losses in 2011.
Inotera also plans to boost spending on equipment to NT$4.5 billion, with an unspecified amount for next-generation 20nm technology. That compares with NT$4.3 billion spent last year.