SAN JOSE, Calif. - Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) posted strong results in the third quarter, but the foundry vendor sees a slowdown in the fourth period.
Silicon foundry vendor UMC (Hsinchu) said that third-quarter revenue hit NT$32.65 billion ($1.061 billion), up 9.8 percent from the second quarter of 2010 and up 19.1 percent from a year ago.
Net income in 3Q10 was NT$8.72 billion ($283.4 million), up 65.4 percent over the previous and up 43.2 percent a year ago. Revenue from 65-nm and below increased to 30 percent of total revenue, with 40-nm accounting for 4 percent of UMC's Q3 revenue contribution.
The overall utilization rate for the quarter was over 99 percent, compared to 100 percent in the previous quarter and 89 percent a year ago. Wafer shipments increased 4.0 percent sequentially to 1,202,000 in 3Q10, compared to 1,156,000 8-inch equivalent wafers shipped in 2Q10.
Capacity during the third quarter was 1,220,000 8-inch equivalent wafers. The increase of total capacity is mainly due to expansion of 65-/55-nm at Fab 12i in Singapore. The estimated installed capacity in 4Q10 will increase to 1,234,000 8-inch equivalent wafers mainly due to the continuous expansion plan at Fab12i.
The capital expenditure budget for 2010 will remain at $1.8 billion.
For Q4, UMC said sales will decline. Wafer shipments will show a mid single-digit percentage decline ''due to seasonality.'' But UMC's wafer ASPs will show a mid single-digit percentage increase.
Capacity utilization will fall to the mid-to-low 90 percent range. ''Computer will be relatively weaker than consumer and communication,'' according to UMC.
Shih-Wei Sun, CEO of UMC, painted a mixed picture. "UMC's revenue from the first three quarters of this year has already surpassed 2009's full-year revenue. As a result, third quarter revenue exceeded $1 billion, with revenue and income from foundry operations both reaching 6-year highs,'' he said in a statement.
"Looking ahead to Q4, advanced process capacity will remain fully utilized. Product mix optimization will push blended ASP even higher. We do expect that seasonality, NT dollar fluctuations, and other uncertainties may slightly affect revenue, but remain cautiously optimistic about the Q4 foundry market,'' he said.
''UMC will continue to closely monitor industry conditions in order to adapt to any changes. According to UMC's initial budget projection for fiscal year 2011, next year's semiconductor industry outlook and customer demand remain quite healthy. UMC's US$1.8 billion capex this year shall significantly boost advanced capacity expansion and 28-nm and 20-nm R&D, enabling the company to greatly enhance its competitiveness,'' he added.