Shrugging off slow season, TSMC sees record-high sales

Staff writer with CNA

Wed, Jan 11, 2017 - Page 12

Despite it being the slow season for the global chip industry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, saw its sales hit a new high last quarter.

Market analysts attributed the surge to solid global demand for smartphone and graphics chips, which offset the seasonal downturn.

TSMC reported consolidated sales of NT$262.23 billion (US$8.21 billion) for the fourth quarter of last year, edging up 0.7 percent from the previous quarter and beating the company’s forecast of NT$255 billion to NT$258 billion.

Bolstered by the robust fourth-quarter showing, TSMC’s consolidated sales for the full year hit a record NT$947.94 billion, up 12.4 percent from a year earlier.

The figure also beat the company’s full-year growth forecast of 11 to 12 percent.

Last month, TSMC posted consolidated sales of NT$78.11 billion, its lowest monthly total since July last year, as customers scaled back orders to clear their inventories, analysts said.

Last month’s revenue represented a 16 percent drop month-on-month, but a 33.9 percent increase year-on-year.

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, closed unchanged at NT$184 in Taipei trading yesterday.

The chipmaker is to release more details on its fourth-quarter results and provide guidance for the first quarter at an investors’ conference tomorrow.

Since the first quarter is traditionally a slow season for the chip industry, analysts said that TSMC could see a singe-digit percentage fall in sales in the first quarter.

For the full year, TSMC would see record-high consolidated sales of more than NT$1 trillion, the analysts said.