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UMC surpasses target, posts 16.2 percent growth in Q2

United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), the world's second largest made-to-order chipmaker, yesterday posted a 16.2-percent growth in Q2 sales on a quarter-on-quarter basis, better than the firm's own 15 percent forecast.

The firm had originally estimated wafer shipments to increase 15 percent in Q2 compared to the first three months, on strong demand from the communications and consumer electronic markets. That prompted the firm to estimate sales would grow 15 percent, given average sales prices staying the same.

The firm saw increasing sales during each month in the second quarter, as it had estimated. June sales totaled NT$9.289 billion, a rise of 0.9 percent from May and the highest in 13 months. The figure also represented the fourth month in a row sales have increased.

The company yesterday reported sales of NT$27.62 billion for the three-month period ending June 30, a rise of 16.2 percent from the first quarter.

UMC Chief Executive Officer Sun Shih-wei has predicted third quarter sales would rise from Q2, given that the July-September period is usually a busy season for the foundry industry. The firm's 40-nanometer and 28-nm technology, meanwhile, would enter their “harvest period,” he said.

Market experts, meanwhile, are expecting a mid-single-digit growth in Q3.

Despite the stellar Q2 results, UMC yesterday gave a lackluster performance after its ex-dividend.

The firm this year will hand out cash dividends of NT$0.5 a share, or a total of NT$6.468 billion based on the firm's outstanding shares.

Yet it seems investors didn't want to participate in the ex-dividend. Last week foreign investors posted a net sale of 32,319 units of UMC's stock, while investment trusts net-sold 623 units. Securities firms, meanwhile, net-bought 20,362 units. Each stock unit is 1,000 shares.

UMC yesterday opened at its ex-dividend price of NT$12.5 and closed at NT$12.3.

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