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ASE cautiously optimistic about Q4 earnings outlook

TAIPEI--Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), the world's largest integrated circuit packaging and testing vendor, is cautiously optimistic about its fourth quarter earnings on expectations that new devices will be launched.

At an investor conference held Friday, ASE Chief Financial Officer Joseph Tung said that while global demand has been haunted by weakening economic fundamentals, the planned introductions of new electronic gadgets in the fourth quarter should give the company's sales a boost.

Microsoft Corp. has announced it will unveil the long awaited Windows 8 operating system on Oct. 26, which is expected to trigger the launch of many new devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers and ultrabook computers, that are bundled with the operating system.

ASE Chief Operating Officer Tien Wu agreed but said the company needs one or two months to monitor global markets to determine the extent of the company's sales growth in the fourth quarter.

In the second quarter, ASE posted NT$3.2 billion (US$106 million) in net profit, up 56 percent from a quarter earlier. Its earnings per share for the April-June period stood at NT$0.48, compared with NT$0.31.

Sales for the quarter totaled NT$45.87 billion, up 6 percent from a quarter earlier but down 1 percent from a year earlier.

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