IC testing/packaging firms to begin year slow before pickup
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The integrated circuit (IC) testing and packaging industry will begin 2013 slow and gain traction as the year goes on, two leading operators said yesterday.
January 31, 2013, 11:08 am TWN
The two operators, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries Ltd. (SPIL), made the remarks during their respective quarterly investors' conferences yesterday.
“We'll have a more difficult time in January and February, and a turnaround will happen in March,” said Lin Po-wen, chairman of SPIL. “Shipments will increase in the second half.”
ASE gave a similar outlook, saying first-quarter shipments will drop compared to 2012's fourth quarter yet will begin to grow again in the second quarter of this year.
The firm's prediction was in line with forecasts by analysts, who said that ASE sales for the first quarter may fall anywhere between 5 to 8 percent compared to the fourth quarter of last year. Yet, starting in the second quarter the firm may see a rise in sales, with each subsequent quarter higher than the last.
In fact, most IC players have given similar estimates. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., for example, forecasts a sales decline in the first three months of 2013 and a recovery starting in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, both ASE and SPIL were profitable last year, they said.
For ASE, it had net profit of NT$4.387 billion during the fourth quarter of last year, or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$0.58, a rise of 27.3 percent from the third quarter of 2012 and the highest in eight consecutive quarters.
Its gross profit margin was 19.6 percent, which was better than market expectations.
SPIL, meanwhile, had a fourth-quarter net profit of NT$1.56 billion, or EPS of NT$0.51, a decline of 8.1 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis. Its gross profit margin was 18.9 percent.
For last year, ASE and SPIL had total net profits of NT$13.091 billion and NT$5.62 billion, or EPS of NT$1.71 and NT$1.82, respectively.