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Winbond Electronics optimistic on DRAM sales in second quarter

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones will drive the growth for DRAM demand in the second quarter, said Memory chip-maker Winbond Electronics Corp. President Chan Tung-yi.

Sales performance of terminal devices such as PCs, mobile phones, tablet computers, digital TVs, notebooks and set-top boxes in the second half of the year will determine the length of the DRAM market rebound, said Chan.

Chan delivered his second-quarter forecast for the three product lines: NOR Flash DRAM, Specialty DRAM (for niche markets), and Mobile DRAM, which accounted for 42 percent, 44 percent and 14 percent of first-quarter revenue, respectively.

The demand for Specialty DRAM will be strong and the average prices will climb back to a “healthy” level, said Chan.

On the other hand, the demand for low-power mobile DRAM will remain strong because of smartphone and tablet computer market growth, while the sales of NOR flash memories are expected to rebound.

According to Chan, the first-quarter sales of mobile DRAM increased 21 percent from the previous quarter because of strong demand for low-power DRAM from mobile device manufacturers, while revenue of flash DRAM declined 11 percent due to the weakening of PC and peripheral markets.

Winbond recorded a NT$337 million after-tax loss for the first quarter, down 37 percent from the fourth quarter, according to the company's financial results released yesterday.

According to the first-quarter consolidated financial report of the company, the revenue reached NT$7.65 billion, a 2-percent decrease from the previous quarter and a 3-percent increase year-on-year.

The first quarter saw the company's seventh consecutive quarterly loss since it reported a net profit of NT$269.36 million in the second quarter of 2011.

The first-quarter consolidated gross margin was 16 percent, increasing 1 percent from the previous quarter, and the loss per share was NT$0.1.

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