SAN JOSE, Calif. - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) is seeing a slowdown amid a lull in the IC market.
''Based on our inventory analysis, rising capacity estimates and demand adjustment, we estimate TSMC will see a fall in its utilization level within two to three quarters to 75 percent, from 104-105 percent in 2Q-3Q '10,'' ''said Andrew Lu, an analyst with Barclays Bank, in a report.
''We expect this to result in a 4Q '10 sales decline of 0-5 percent quarter/quarter and a 15-20 percent quarter/quarter decline for 1Q '11,'' he said. ''In contrast to the consensus sales forecast of 8 percent year/year growth and TSMCís internal forecast of 10 percent year/year, we forecast TSMC sales to decline 5 percent year/year in 2011 following nearly 40 percent year/year sales growth in 2010.''
TSMC may lower its capital spending next year. ''Given a likely reduction in orders from advanced graphic customers using 40-nm during 4Q10-1H11, we expect TSMC to adjust its 2011 capex to $5 billion or lower, from $5.9 billion this year, especially with some control on 40nm new capacity. However, we do not expect TSMC to slow the 28-nm R&D capex and ramp-up, given rising competition from Globalfoundries and Samsung,'' he said.