Siliconware Precision Industries Co (SPIL, 矽品精密), the world’s second-largest chip tester and packager, yesterday reported that it swung into losses last quarter because of patent infringement charges.
The company’s losses of NT$292 million (US$9.88 million) last quarter compared with a net profit of NT$891 million a year ago and net profit of NT$1.59 billion a quarter ago, company data showed.
The decline was due to settlement expenses of US$30 million for a patent infringement matter with Tessera Technologies Inc, the maker of chip-packaging technology for companies like Intel Corp.
“But the settlement helped ease uncertainties about ongoing lawsuits and enabled us to focus on our business operation,” company chairman Bough Lin (林文伯) told an investors’ conference.
Gross margin was 14.6 percent last quarter, lower than the 18.8 percent recorded in the previous quarter and 14.7 percent a year earlier, while revenue last quarter was NT$13.82 billion, down 14.4 percent quarter-on-quarter and 8.6 percent year-on-year, the Greater Taichung-based company’s data showed.
Lin said he expected revenue to increase by between 19 percent and 25 percent this quarter from last quarter, because demand for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers would remain solid this year.
Demand for smartphones is estimated to grow 27.7 percent this year from a year ago, and demand for tablet PCs is expected to rise 48.7 percent year-on-year this year, Lin said, without citing where he obtained the figures.
An announcement last month by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), one of its clients, that it would increase capital investment this year also represents a brighter outlook for the industry, Lin said.
For the whole of this year, the company is likely to post high single-digit percentage growth in terms of revenue, Lin said. He did not offer a profit forecast.
Siliconware Precision only used between 68 percent and 80 percent of its capacity during the slow season in the first quarter, but starting this quarter, the company is to boost the rate to up to 100 percent to meet clients’ needs, he said.
Lin said the company was considering increasing its capital expenditure, which the company set earlier at NT$11.3 billion for this year, to help expand its capacity if demand this month and next month is strong, he said.
The company’s shares dropped 1.27 percent to NT$35 yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX, which was up 0.8 percent.