Macronix International Co (旺宏電子), the world’s biggest NOR flash memorychip maker, yesterday said its revenue would grow quarter-on-quarter in the second half of this year due to resilient demand and price hikes.
The forecast goes against a broader downtrend in the semiconductor industry, which has begun experiencing inventory corrections after COVID-19 restrictions, inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dented market consumption.
“With half of the year having passed by, the company does not see any dark clouds over the NOR flash memory business. The outlook for next year is not certain yet, as the war, [COVID-19] pandemic and China’s zero COVID policy will affect the whole situation,” Macronix president C.Y. Lu (盧志遠) told an online investors’ conference.
Photo courtesy of Macronix International Co
The company is very confident that its revenue would grow quarter-on-quarter this quarter, Lu said.
Increased demand for NOR flash memory chips used in vehicles would fill the capacity void left by chips used in consumer electronics, he said.
The company expects factory utilization to remain at full capacity through the end of this year, he said.
The company’s book-to-bill ratio did slide from a large figure last year, but it is still well above one, meaning that demand is surpassing what it can supply, he added.
Macronix supplies advanced ultra-high-quality memory chips to the world’s top five automotive chip suppliers, including NXP Semiconductors NV, Renesas Electronics Corp and STMicroelectronics NV.
Addressing investors’ concerns about the increase in its inventory, Lu said that about half of the company’s inventory has been prepared for Nintendo Co ahead of the shopping season in the second half.
Following seasonal patterns, the company expects to deplete the inventory by the end of the year, he said.
Macronix said its net profit surged 52 percent to NT$2.94 billion (US$98.28 million) last quarter, compared with NT$1.93 billion a year earlier. It was little changed from NT$2.93 billion in the first quarter.
Earnings per share rose to NT$1.59 last quarter, from NT$1.04 a year earlier and NT$1.58 a quarter earlier. Gross margin fell slightly to 48.2 percent last quarter from 48.3 percent in the second quarter. On an annual basis, gross margin improved from 39.1 percent.
In the first half, net profit hit a new high of NT$5.86 billion, more than double the NT$2.84 billion recorded over the same period last year. Earnings per share climbed to NT$3.17 from NT$1.54.
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