Vanguard expects shipment surge

DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH::The driver IC maker forecasts an increase of between 11% and 13% in the April-June quarter over Q1, on demand for handheld devices

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Tue, May 07, 2013 - Page 14

Foundry operator Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進) expects shipments to rise by double digits this quarter from last quarter on the back of strong demand for mobile gadgets, senior executives said yesterday.

The Hsinchu-based company, which makes driver ICs for flat panels, is looking at an increase of between 11 percent and 13 percent in shipments in the period between last month and next month, compared with the first quarter, Vanguard president Fang Leuh (方略) told an investors’ conference in Taipei.

The uptrend, based on two-month order visibility, spans all product lines, but driver ICs used in small-sized panels will likely perform stronger than large panels, Fang said.

ICs for mobile devices contributed 22 percent of Vanguard’s revenue of NT$4.79 billion (US$161.55 million) last quarter, up 53 percent from three months earlier, while driver ICs used in large panels dropped 9 percent to account for 45 percent, company data showed.

“Demand for handheld devices remains robust going forward,” Fang said, adding that tablet computers may also see strong growth.

Vanguard expects to run at full capacity this quarter after its factory utilization rate hit 99 percent during the first quarter, he said.

The company kept its planned capital expenditure for this year unchanged at NT$1.2 billion, although it expects to ship more than it can produce this quarter, thanks to inventory, he said.

“We don’t want to turn away business, but are seeking to improve our productivity and efficiency to meet customer demand,” Fang said.

The company is looking at a gross margin of between 31 percent and 33 percent this quarter, from 30 percent last quarter, attributable to lower inventory costs, even though blended average selling prices may drop between 1 percent and 3 percent, vice president Tseng Dong-liang (曾棟樑) said, adding that adjustments in the product mix would also help.

Vanguard, in which Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) owns a 39 percent stake and contributes 30 percent of its revenue, recorded NT$881 million in net income for the first three months of this year, an increase 19.2 percent from the previous quarter, company data showed.

The figures translated into NT$0.56 earnings per share (EPS), compared with EPS of NT$0.47 three months earlier.

Shares in Vanguard ended up 1.64 percent at NT$34 yesterday, outpacing the TAIEX’s 0.42 percent rise, Taiwan Stock Exchange statistics indicated.