SINGAPORE Loss-making semiconductor test and packaging vendor STATS ChipPAC said it expects to report 13-percent sales growth for the quarter ending June 30.
Analysts said the results were largely in line with expectations but unlikely to be sustainable.
The company said in a statement that based on preliminary results it expects revenues of $264 million for the second quarter, driven by strong demand for commodity PBGA packaging used in chip sets and advanced packages.
The revenue increase is solidly in the middle of the 10 to
15 percent growth over the first quarter of 2005 that STATS
ChipPAC forecast in April.
Shares in the firm surged over 4 percent earlier this week after the announcement on the Singapore Exchange, though the company said it still expects to post a net U.S. GAAP loss of 7 to 8 cents per U.S. share, which is higher than the shortfall of 5 to 8 cents per share it predicted three months ago.
STATS ChipPAC reported a first-quarter loss of $27.1 million, down from a net profit of $4.1 million for the same quarter in 2004.
President and CEO Tan Lay Koon said in the statement that he
expected stronger performance in the months ahead. "We are encouraged by strength in demand across all our product lines [and] we expect these positive trends to continue going forward based on current customer forecasts, including improvement in 3D packaging revenue used primarily for handsets."
Analysts said the revenue forecast held few surprises, warning there were few indications that STATS ChipPAC or the wider industry could look forward to a bumper year.
"It would be to optimistic to read [the forecast] as plain sailing for the industry for rest of 2005," said Dharmo Soejanto, an electronics industry analyst at Kim Eng Research here. "Bear in mind that we just emerged from an inventory correction situation, so the first couple of quarters would likely look good when excess inventory is used up and chip makers start to rebuild inventory."
"The major issue is what is driving end demand," Soejanto added. "There is very little visibility beyond the third quarter. There are no major new application drivers for the semiconductor industry, such as DVD players and digital cameras a few years back, or even MP3 players last
year. At this moment, we see a push in 3G handsets, but much would depend on the sell-through of these phones."
STATS ChipPAC will report its full results for the second quarter of 2005, as well as its outlook for the third quarter, on July 28.
The company also announced Tuesday (July 12) the sale of $150 million in five-year bonds, $99 million of which will be used to refinance short-term borrowings. Its first bond issue last November raised $215 million.