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September 23, 2017

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TSMC net profit ups 7.7 percent in Q4

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (台積電) on Thursday said fourth quarter net profit for the end of 2013 rose 7.7 percent year-on-year, but forecast a decrease in sales in the coming three months.

The world's biggest contract chip maker said net profit rose to NT$44.81 billion (US$1.49 billion) in the October-December period, while revenue grew 10.9 percent to NT$145.81 billion from a year earlier on demand for high-performance chips from smartphone and tablet makers.

However, both net profit and revenue declined 13.7 percent and 10.3 percent respectively from the third quarter last year, TSMC said.

"In the fourth quarter, TSMC's business was impacted by inventory management of the semiconductor supply chain," said chief financial officer Lora Ho.

"We are confident of growing both our revenue and profit in 2014," Ho said.

The company forecast a six percent decline in first quarter revenue, with structural profitability improving due to weak seasonal demand and inventory reduction.

TSMC expected its capital expenditure for 2014 to be between US$9.5-US$10 billion, from US$9.7 billion in 2013.

TSMC has said it enjoyed a surge in demand for its wafer technology since the 2013 first quarter as smartphone and tablet makers ratcheted up their product lines, but some clients cut orders in the fourth quarter on weaker-than-expected demand, in particular for some high-end smartphones.

However, the company said demand for high-end chips was recovering as mobile device makers start replenishing stockpile ahead of new launches later this year.

Nomura said in a research report that mass production of Apple's next-generation processors at one of TSMC's facilities, likely to begin in the current quarter, was expected to help boost its earnings in the near term.

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