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TSMC performance to outpace UMC in Q1

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The scale of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s (TSMC) January and February revenues covers 71 percent of it first-quarter prospects of NT$138 billion for the first quarter, bound to outcompete local peers United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC).

TSMC (台積電), the world's largest contract chip maker, on Monday posted consolidated revenues of NT$98.26 billion for the first two months of 2014, an increase of 10.9 percent from the same period last year.

The scale of revenues covers 71 percent of the company's operational prospects of NT$138 billion for the first quarter of the year, with only a small gap of NT$39.8 billion to fill in March to reach the goal, according to the Central News Agency.

With optimism thanks to a thriving market for mobile devices, TSMC said it anticipates that Q1 sales will be higher than expected.

At present, the company added, it has no plans to adjust the first-quarter operational outlook to a higher projected value. "The operational goal remains unchanged," it said in a company statement.

TSMC also reported consolidated revenues for February of approximately NT$46.83 billion, down 9 percent from the previous month due to the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday and up 13.7 percent from the same month in 2013.

UMC, VIS First-quarter Data Expected to Meet Company Expectations

Also yesterday, UMC released unaudited net sales for the month of February 2014.

After rebounding above NT$10 billion in January, UMC reported NT$10.342 billion, an increase of 2.77 percent month-on-month and 18.45 percent year-on-year. UMC's cumulative revenues for the first two months saw NT$20.04 billion, a 12.2-percent growth from the same period of 2013.

Analysts expected UMC's March-quarter revenues to drop 4 percent. However, because the January-February revenues have amounted to 66.4 percent of last quarter's revenues, UMC's first quarter result is likely to meet or beat company's predictions.

TSMC-invested specialty integrated circuit (IC) foundry Vangurad International Semiconductor (VIS, 世界先進) yesterday posted unaudited February revenues of NT$1.829 billion, a 1-percent sequential increase and a year-on-year gain of 27.6 percent from NT$1.434 billion.

VIS yesterday announced consolidated revenues of NT$3.642 billion for the first two months of 2014, an increase of 17.38 percent from the same period of the previous year.

As for basis order visibility and backlogged orders, VIS expects its foundry wafer shipments in the March quarter to grow 2-4 percent from the previous quarter, keeping its production lines fully occupied, adding that it predicts cumulative revenues for the first quarter to finish leveled or nominally lower.

VIS indicated that its gross margin ratio would rise to 34-46 percent in the first quarter, from 33 percent in the previous quarter, while blended average sales prices dipped 3-5 percent by quarter.

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