TSMC sales dip to 10-month low in February

2018/03/09 19:21:20 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
TSMC sales dip to 10-month low in February

Taipei, March 9 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, reported Friday that its sales for February fell to a 10-month low, with market analysts attributing the decline to the reduced number of working days in the month, as well as slow-season effect in the current quarter.

In February, TSMC posted NT$64.64 billion (US$2.21 billion) in consolidated sales, down 18.90 percent from a month earlier. The February figure was the lowest since April 2017, when revenue stood at NT$56.87 billion.

The six-day Lunar New Year holiday in February was cited as a seasonal factor affecting the lower revenue of TSMC for the month, while the global semiconductor sector remained in a slow season in the first quarter, which continued to drag down the chipmaker revenue, the analysts said.

In an investor conference held in January, TSMC forecast that its revenue for the first quarter would range between US$8.4 billion and US$8.5 billion, down 7.7 percent-8.8 percent from the previous quarter due to the slow-season effect.

Lower demand for mobile devices in the first quarter could push down shipments of chips made on TSMC's advanced 10 nanometer process in the period, the chipmaker said.

In the first two months of this year, sales totaled NT$144.38 billion in consolidated revenue, down 2.5 percent from a year earlier, so TSMC will have to post NT$100 billion or higher in sales in March to achieve the first-quarter sales goal.

The analysts said that based on TSMC's guidance, its sales momentum is expected to pick up in March thanks to more working days.

In the January investor conference, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said his company will post a 10 percent-15 percent year-on-year increase in sales for 2018 in U.S. dollar terms, on the back of solid demand for high-performance computing, Internet of Things applications and automotive electronics.

Meanwhile, United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), a smaller rival of TSMC, said it posted NT$11.91 billion in consolidated sales for February, down 9.6 percent from a month earlier, also due to the holiday and the slow-season effect. In the first two months of this year, UMC's consolidated sales rose 1.70 percent from a year earlier to NT$25.08 billion, the company said.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)
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