HSINCHU, Taiwan -- After reporting booming profits in the first quarter of 2004 the world's largest foundry supplier of ICs, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., said it expects the second quarter to show wafer shipments increasing by close to 10 percent sequentially and average selling prices to improve by a low single digit percentage sequentially.
In addition manufacturing capacity utilization could exceed 105 percent as consumer and communications demand increases but computer applications demand declines modestly in Q2, TSMC. Overall 2004 is expected to set new records for revenue and net income, the company said.
As expected TSMC released its Q1 financial results Friday (April 30) although this was a formality as the company had published the bare results on Tuesday (April 26) after partial results had been published "by mistake".
TSMC re-iterated that it made a net income of NT$18,789 million (about US$570 million) on sales of NT$57,513 million (about US$1.74 billion). The income was more than four times the NT$4,180 million (about US$125 million) profit made in the year-ago period and up 17.4 percent on the NT$16,002 million (about US$485 million) made in the previous quarter.
Sales for the first quarter were down 0.5 percent from NT$57,780 (about US$1.75 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2003.
On Friday TSMC added some background to this saying that despite a 4.0 percent increase in wafer shipments, ASPs had declined by 3.2 percent. This combined with a weakening dollar exchange rate -- by 1.5 percent -- had been responsible for bringing Q1 revenue to a level similar to 4Q03. The gross margin for the quarter had improved slightly to 39.5 percent from 39.3 percent in the previous quarter due to higher utilization levels. The net margin for the quarter improved substantially to 32.7 percent compared to 27.7 percent previously, TSMC said.
"TSMC's first quarter marks the beginning of a year where we believe TSMC will once again deliver record-breaking financial performance in terms of both top-line and bottom-line results," said Lora Ho, TSMC vice president and chief financial officer, in a statement.
Ho also said that in the second quarter revenues from manufacturing processes at 0.13-micron and below are expected to exceed 25 percent of wafer sales with demand set to increase strongly in the consumer segment, modestly for the communication segment, but decline modestly in the computer segment.