GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s third-largest silicon wafer supplier, yesterday said its net profit soared to a record high of NT$5.27 billion (US$180.6 million) last year, as voracious demand spurred a wave of price hikes for key electronic components.
Last year’s net profit grew from NT$939 million in 2016, with earnings per share soaring to NT$12.68 last year, from NT$2.54 a year earlier.
These are no signs of demand weakness that would reverse a scarcity of wafer supply constraints and GlobalWafers expects the price uptrend to be in place throughout the year, it said.
“A rise in customer demand has helped drive up equipment loading rates in the past year. Our capacity cannot keep up with the pace of customer demand,” company spokesperson Lee Chung-wei (李崇偉) said by telephone. “We are optimistic about demand for the next two or three years. Customer demand is very strong this year, which will support further price hikes.”
Lee declined to give a detailed forecast about price increases.
Memory chipmaker Marconix International Co (旺宏電子) said earlier this month that wafer silicon costs are expected to surge 30 percent this year, following two years of price hikes due to prolonged supply constraints.
GlobalWafers and Japan’s SUMCO Corp are the major semiconductor wafer suppliers to Macronix, the memorychip maker said.
Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for semiconductors, which are vital components of all electronic goods including computers, telecommunications products and consumer electronics.
GlobalWafers yesterday said the company’s board of directors approved the distribution of a cash dividend of NT$10 per common share. That implies a dividend yield of 2.18 percent when compared with the shares closing price of NT$458 yesterday.
Last year, GlobalWafers saw revenue expand to NT$45.21 billion, compared with NT$18.43 billion a year earlier.
The company’s revenue growth outpaced the worldwide silicon wafer industry’s growth of 21 percent to US$8.71 billion last year, according to statistics from the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG). The figure is still well below the industry’s peak revenue set in 2007 of US$12.1 billion.
Silicon wafer shipments rose to a record high 11,810 million square inches (7,619m2) last year, up from a 2016 market high of 10,738 million square inches, SMG said.
DIGITAL RIGHTS: Although Ottawa did not identify any particular country as a risk in the video-game sphere, it has repeatedly accused China and Russia of interference Canada is to enhance its scrutiny of foreign investments in video games and other interactive media, seeking to block outside actors from manipulating public opinion in the country. “Hostile state-sponsored or state-influenced actors may try to leverage foreign investments in the interactive digital media sector to spread disinformation and manipulate information,” Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Friday in a joint announcement with Canadian Minister of Heritage Pascale St-Onge. Starting immediately, Ottawa is to increase scrutiny of investments “by entities owned or influenced by foreign states, particularly states that engage in activities that may pose a risk
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICERS: Y.J. Mii, who is in charge of R&D, and Y.P. Chyn, who is responsible for fab operations and management, start their new positions today Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday promoted Y.J. Mii (米玉傑) and Y.P. Chyn (秦永沛) as co-chief operating officers (COO) of the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, signaling the formation of a succession team. The latest executive reshuffle comes after TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) in December last year announced that he is to retire this year. CEO C.C. Wei (魏哲家) has been recommended as his successor while continuing to serve in his current position. Mii and Chyn, as well as the company’s human resources, finance, legal and corporate planning units, are to report directly to Wei, a company statement released after the
SEMICONDUCTORS: Under India’s chipmaking incentive plan, the government would bear half the cost of any approved project, with an initial budget of US$10 billion for the task The Indian government, after years of watching from the sidelines of the chips race, now has to evaluate US$21 billion of semiconductor proposals and divvy up taxpayer support between foreign chipmakers, local champions or some combination of the two. Israel’s Tower Semiconductor Ltd is proposing a US$9 billion plant, while India’s Tata Group has put forward an US$8 billion chip fabrication unit, people familiar with the matter said. Both projects would be in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, the people said. Semiconductors have grown into a key geopolitical battleground, with the US, Japan and China investing heavily in
AI PRIORITIZED: Analysts said the move was a good strategic decision for Apple, which was still years away from producing a vehicle and facing a cooling market Apple Inc is canceling a decade-long effort to build an electric vehicle (EV), people with knowledge of the matter said, abandoning one of the most ambitious projects in the history of the firm. Apple made the disclosure internally on Tuesday, surprising about 2,000 employees working on the project, the sources said. The decision was shared by Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president in charge of the effort, the sources said. The two executives told staff that the project would begin winding down and that many employees on the EV team — known as the Special Projects Group