CHPT quarterly net profit plummets

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 12

Chunghwa Precision Test Tech. Co (CHPT, 中華精測), the nation’s largest provider of probe card testing services, yesterday reported that its net profit fell 51.34 percent to NT$112.72 million (US$3.84 million) last quarter from NT$231.66 million in the previous quarter, as customers delayed orders for its new 7-nanometer chip probing services and demand for existing services was tepid.

The figure also represented an annual contraction of 18.57 percent from NT$138.42 billion, company data showed.

Earnings per share were NT$3.43 last quarter, compared with NT$7.49 the previous quarter and NT$4.5 a year earlier.

Gross margin fell to 54.1 percent last quarter from 56.9 percent a quarter ago and 55.1 percent a year earlier, the company said.

“Customer demand fell short of the company’s expectations in the second half of last year due to an inventory correction,” company president Scott Huang (黃水可) told reporters at a media gathering in Taipei. “Order visibility should become clearer in the first half of this year, given a pick-up in customer demand. Besides, our new products will soon be available.”

Revenue is expected to post a new record in the third quarter, fueled by increasing demand for advanced testing services for 7-nanometer application chips.

CHPT last saw a record quarterly revenue in the third quarter last year, at NT$935.58 million, company data showed.

The company counts chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) as its biggest client, and also provides probe card testing services to the world’s top five application processor makers, including Samsung Electronics Co.

CHPT was upbeat about growth prospects for this year, thanks to burgeoning demand for chips used in high-performance computing, cars and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

Last year, probe card testing services for 7-nanometer chips contributed 16 percent to CHPT’s revenue of NT$3.11 billion, while 10-nanometer chips accounted for 73 percent.

This year, Huang expects 7-nanometer products to become a major growth driver.

CHPT board of directors on Wednesday approved a proposal to pay a higher cash dividend of NT$10 per share, given the company’s better earnings last year, when its net profit grew about 22 percent to NT$736.37 million.

Last year, the company distributed a cash dividend of NT$8 per share, based on its earnings of NT$604.78 million in 2016.

CHPT plans to increase its capital expenditure by 25 percent to NT$1 billion this year from NT$800 million last year to cope with rising customer demand.

The company also plans to raise wages by about 6 percent. It said it would add a midnight shift for its research-and-development (R&D) department to enhance its technology competitiveness.

The company has 800 employees, with R&D personnel accounting for 30 percent.

It plans to increase its head count to 900 this year.