TSMC November sales down 3%, still ranks 3rd-highest monthly high

Taipei, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, reported Monday a roughly 3 percent month-on-month decline in sales, but the figure still ranked third-highest in the company's history.

In a statement, TSMC said it posted NT$98.39 billion (US$3.18 billion) in consolidated sales for November, down 3.1 percent from a month earlier, with market analysts attributing the decline to the slow- season effect.

Analysts said peak effects for TSMC's advanced 7 nanometer process shipments had faded, so it was no surprise that the chipmaker reported a drop in revenue in November.

However, the November sales were the third-highest monthly level in TSMC's history, trailing NT$103.70 billion reported for March and NT$101.55 billion in October.

In an investor conference held in mid-October, TSMC gave sales guidance in which it said consolidated sales for the fourth quarter are expected to range between NT$288 billion and NT$291 billion, up from NT$260.35 billion.

During the October-November period, the aggregate sales of TSMC hit NT$199.94 billion, so analysts said it is expected that the chipmaker will achieve its fourth-quarter sales target without difficulty.

According to an estimate by TSMC, chips made on its 7 nanometer process are expected to account for 20 percent of its total sales for the fourth quarter, up from 11 percent recorded in the third quarter, which will serve as a driver to the sales growth for the October-December period.

In the first 11 months of this year, TSMC's consolidated sales totaled NT$941.64 billion, up 6.1 percent from a year earlier.

Looking ahead, analysts said that with orders from Apple Inc. on the decline and demand for Android-powered smartphones weakening, as well as sales of mining devices used for cryptocurrency transactions falling, TSMC could see its revenue for the first quarter falling about 15 percent from the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), a smaller rival of TSMC, reported Monday that its consolidated sales for November dropped 8.13 percent from a month earlier to NT$11.55 billion, the lowest monthly level for this year.

Analysts said the fall in UMC's sales in November reflected stagnant global smartphone sales, trade tension between the United States and China and depreciation of the currencies of emerging economies.

In the first 11 months of this year, UMC's consolidated sales totaled NT$139.87 billion, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts said UMC could post more than NT$11 billion in consolidated sales for December to boost its 2018 sales to top the 2017's level of NT$149.28 billion to a new record high.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channels