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Post-merger, MediaTek's February sales set record

TAIPEI -- MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), one of Taiwan's leading integrated circuit designers, said Friday that consolidated sales for February hit a record high after it completed a merger with a smaller rival, MStar Semiconductor Inc. (晨星半導體).

Last month, MediaTek posted NT$15.73 billion (US$519 million) in consolidated sales, up 22.48 percent from a month earlier and also up about 158 percent from a year earlier after booking MStar's sales into its accounts.

In the first two months of this year, MediaTek recorded NT$28.58 billion in consolidated sales, up 96.47 percent.

Encouraged by the strong showing in the February sales data, shares of MediaTek opened sharply higher on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Friday before profit taking emerged to cap the gains to some extent at the end of the session.

The stock rose 1.72 percent to end at NT$473.00 off an early high of NT$481.50, with 13.98 million shares changing hands, while the weighted index on the main board closed up 0.17 points at 8,713.96.

In mid-February, MediaTek upgraded its forecast for first- quarter sales to NT$41.4 billion-NT$44.6 billion from an earlier estimate of NT$35.0 billion-NT$39.0 billion after the merger deal was completed Feb. 1. The revised estimate represented a 4-12 percent increase from a quarter earlier.

At an investor conference held in late January, MediaTek anticipated that its sales for the first quarter would fall 2-10 percent from a quarter earlier due to the slow-season effect.

Sales Growth Momentum Will Continue Into March: Analyst

Based on accumulated sales in the first two months of this year, market analysts said, it is likely that MediaTek can reach its new sales target, adding the company's sales growth momentum will continue into March, when the number of working days is higher than February's.

Still, the slow-season effect in the first quarter have had an impact on MediaTek's smartphone chip shipments, with the IC designer estimating that its smartphone chip shipments for the January-March period are expected to fall to 65 million units from 70 million units recorded in the previous quarter.

However, MediaTek's gross margin for the first quarter could remain stable from the fourth quarter's 45.7 percent on the back of the launch of octa-core smartphone chips, analysts said.

MediaTek said smartphone chip shipments for 2014 will surpass 300 million units, up from about 220 million units recorded in 2013.

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