Touch module and sensor supplier TPK Holding Co (宸鴻) yesterday gave a lukewarm outlook for the second half of this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the industry’s seasonal patterns.
Amid pandemic-related transportation restrictions and social distancing, online learning and remote working fueled demand for notebook computers and tablets in the first half, TPK chairman Michael Chiang (江朝瑞) told reporters after an annual shareholders’ meeting in Taipei.
“This was a big surprise for us, as we thought demand would have dipped [in the first half],” Chiang said. “I think there will be no explosive [revenue] growth in the second half, but a mild one.”
The company also saw robust demand for silver nanowire touch modules for 85-inch electronic whiteboards from schools, Chiang said, adding that TPK expects shipments of silver-nanowire touch modules used in large electronic whiteboards to grow 30 percent annually this year.
Like most of its peers, TPK usually sees revenue increase significantly in the second half of the year compared with the first half, as customers start restocking inventories ahead of annual product launches and year-end shopping sprees.
Over the past five years, TPK reported at least 30 percent more revenue in the July-to-December period than in the first six months of the year, company data showed.
“The second half of this year will be relatively flat,” Chiang said.
Average selling prices would continue to spiral down, Chiang said, adding that the company has tried to save costs to keep its business afloat
The company’s board of directors did not propose the distribution of a cash dividend, as it only eked out a profit of NT$209 million (US$7.03 million), or NT$0.51 a share, last year.
TPK had a gross margin of 3.5 percent and an operating margin of only 0.1 percent last year.
To improve its profitability, TPK yesterday said that it is diversifying from its core touch sensor and module business, and is looking for higher-margin businesses.
For the first time, TPK is attempting to build local manufacturing capacity in Taoyuan’s Gueishan District (龜山) to make insoles for athletic footwear and protective gear for sports using 3D printing technology, Chiang said.
The company is also working on two new projects with customers in the information technology sector, he said, without disclosing the names of its two partners.
RECORD BUDGET: TSMC does plan to raise its proposed capital expenditure a lot, and could benefit if Intel outsources more of its production to foundries, analysts said Intel Corp’s earnings conference call on Thursday is expected to clarify the US semiconductor giant’s outsourcing production plans, which would be crucial regarding Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) performance, analysts said. “TSMC stands to benefit if Intel outsources more of its fabrication to foundries,” SinoPac Securities Investment Service Corp (永豐投顧) analysts said in a note on Friday. Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) was more cautious, saying that Intel’s contribution initially would be limited, but its outsourcing plans would still highlight TSMC’s leadership in technology, it added. “Intel will continue to manufacture server or high-end central processing units [CPUs], which have higher
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday announced it would give incentive bonuses totaling NT$1.7 billion (US$59.7 million) to its employees and those at the firm’s major subsidiaries, after the smartphone chip supplier’s revenue hit US$10 billion last year. This is the biggest incentive bonus the Hsinchu-based handset chip designer has ever distributed in its 23-year history. About 17,000 full-time employees of MediaTek and five of its subsidiaries, including Richtek Technology Corp (立錡科技) and Airoha Technology Corp (絡達科技), would receive a “red envelope” of NT$100,000 each, the company said. “Surpassing US$10 billion is just the beginning. We will continue to [grow] on this basis,” MediaTek
TO SPUR REVENUE: The contract chipmaker expects its profit to grow 15 percent this year, outpacing the foundry industry’s projected advance of about 10 percent Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday raised its projected capital spending for this year by 62 percent, a new high, in an attempt to satisfy customer demand for advanced technologies in the production of central processing units, high-performance-computing (HPC) devices and 5G applications. After investing US$17.24 billion last year, TSMC this year plans to spend US$25 billion to US$28 billion on manufacturing equipment and new facilities, including a fab in the US. About 80 percent of the budget would be allocated for developing advanced technologies including 3, 5 and 7-nanometer technologies, the company said. The larger-than-expected capital spending prompted speculation
Norway’s oil and gas reserves have made it one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but its dreams for deep-sea discovery now center on something different. This time, Oslo is looking for a leading role in mining copper, zinc and other metals found on the seabed and in hot demand in green technologies. The country could license companies for deep-sea mining as early as 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said, potentially placing it among the first countries to harvest seabed metals for electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines and solar farms. However, that could also place it on the front line of