MediaTek bullish on China demand

KEY COMPONENT::Smartphone chips were the firm’s biggest revenue contributor last quarter, and an analyst forecast the firm’s chip shipments would remain little changed this quarter

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Mar 08, 2013 - Page 13

MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s biggest handset chip designer, yesterday posted its weakest monthly revenue in two years for last month as fewer working days contributed to an across-the-board decline in demand for its chips during the slow season.

Revenue plunged 27.93 percent to NT$6.09 billion (US$205 million) last month, compared with NT$8.45 billion in January, the company’s statement showed.

The figure was a 2.2 percent decrease from the NT$6.23 billion it posted in the same period last year.

“February should be the trough. Demand is likely to pick up in March as May 1 [Labor day holiday shopping season in China] is approaching,” MediaTek president Hsieh Ching-jian (謝清江) told investors last month.

MediaTek customers are expected to build inventory in advance of the holiday season.

MediaTek exported more than 80 percent of its 110 million smartphone chips to China last year.

Hsieh forecast revenue would drop to between NT$21.9 billion and NT$24 billion this quarter, a decrease of between 10 percent and 18 percent from last quarter’s NT$26.74 billion.

Smartphone chips were the firm’s biggest revenue contributor last quarter with a 43 percent share of total revenue.

Hsieh forecast smartphone chip shipments would drop to between 35 million and 40 million units this quarter, from between 40 million and 45 million last quarter.

Daiwan Capital Markets analyst Eric Chen (陳慧明) expected MediaTek to hit the high end of its revenue forecast as inventory levels have dropped recently.

The analyst forecast the company would ship 40 million smartphone chips this quarter, little changed from last quarter, he said in a report last week.

Separately, the world’s biggest chip packager, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), yesterday posted a 13.1 percent monthly decline in revenue to NT$14.43 billion for last month, compared with NT$16.61 billion in January.

On an annual basis, that represented a 1.8 percent increase from the NT$14.18 billion reported in the same period a year previous, ASE said.

Macronix International Co Ltd (旺宏電子), which counts Japanese video game console maker Nintendo Co as one of its major clients, yesterday said its revenue shrank 19.5 percent last month to NT$1.32 billion, from NT$1.63 billion in January.

That represented a 28.5 percent annual decline from NT$1.84 billion reported in the same period a year earlier.