IC packaging and testing service providers may report mixed Q4
CNATAIPEI--Local integrated circuit packaging and testing services suppliers are likely to give mixed consolidated sales reports for the fourth quarter, which is a traditional slow season for the global semiconductor industry, analysts said Saturday.
October 27, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
While some, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), which take the lead over its peers in high-tech technology development, could continue to capitalize on their efforts, others are likely to feel the pinch from the slow season effects, they said.
After several heavyweights in the IC business, including communications chip designer Broadcom Corp. and chip maker Texas Instruments Inc. (TI), gave lower-than-expected sales or profit forecasts for the October-December period, there have been concerns that the IC packaging and testing business in the quarter could suffer, analysts said.
Earlier this week, Broadcom said its fourth quarter sales are expected to range between US$1.92 billion and US$2.03 billion, compared with the previous market estimate of US$2.13 billion.
For its part, TI forecast that its fourth quarter earnings will range between US$0.42 and US$0.50 on sales of US$2.86 billion to US$3.1 billion, lower than the market's earlier estimates of US$0.51 in EPS and US$3.11 billion in sales.
Analysts said in addition to the slow season effects in the fourth quarter, when the world's personal computer business remains weak, demand for low range smartphones in China seems to have been on the decline in the quarter.
They said although Apple Inc.'s high-end iPhone 5S and its new tablets iPad Air and iPad mini could boost demand, the weakness in demand for low-end smartphones in China will likely affect sales of Taiwanese IC packaging and testing services providers in the fourth quarter.
Taiwan-based Siliconware Precision Industries Co. is expected to witness its fourth quarter consolidated sales falling from the third quarter at a single digit rate under such unfavorable circumstances, analysts said.
In the third quarter, Siliconware posted NT$19.09 billion (US$649 million) in consolidated sales, a quarterly high in the company's history. The third quarter sales were up 8.46 percent from a quarter earlier.
Siliconware is scheduled to hold an investor conference on Oct. 31 to release its third quarter results and give sales guidance for the fourth quarter.
ASE, which has scheduled an investor conference for Oct. 30, is expected to continue to benefit from its efforts in developing high-end technology processes. It is expected to report that its consolidated sales for the fourth quarter will stabilize from the third quarter or even report a slight sequential increase in sales, analysts said.
They said ASE is believed to have secured orders from Apple to provide IC packaging and testing services for the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and the latest version of the iPad mini.
ASE, which takes an about 30 percent share in the global IC packaging and testing market, posted a record high of sales at NT$56.75 billion, 11.8 percent from the second quarter and 15.8 percent from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, memory chip packaging and testing services provider Powertech Technology Inc. is likely to report a small sequential increase in sales for the fourth quarter at best on the back of U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc.'s plan to raise production of mobile DRAMs.
In the third quarter, Powertech posted NT$9.35 billion in consolidated sales, down 1.1 percent from a quarter earlier.
The company plans to hold an investor conference on Oct. 31.