LONDON December sales at leading foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. declined by 16.2 percent sequentially, putting the quarterly sales just above the top end of the guidance given at the time of the company's third quarter financial results.
The steep sequential fall helped to fulfill a slow down predicted for the fourth quarter by Morris Chang, chairman and CEO of TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) earlier in the year.
On an unconsolidated basis, net sales were approximately NT$36.56 billion (about $1.23 billion), a decrease of 16.2 percent from November 2012 and an increase of 19.6 percent over December 2011. Full-year revenues for 2012 totaled NT$499.87 billion (about $17.25 billion, an increase of 19.5 percent compared to 2011.
On a consolidated basis, net sales for December 2012 were approximately NT$37.11 billion (about $1.28 billion), a decrease of 16.1 percent from November 2012 and an increase of 18.8 percent over December 2011. Consolidated full-year revenues for 2012 totaled NT$506.25 billion (about $17.47 billion), an increase of 18.5 percent compared to 2011.
Rival foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) also experienced a sharp sequential slow down in December 2012. UMC has announced December sales of NT$7.896 billion (about $270 million) down 13.5 percent from sales in November 2012 and down 3.8 percent from the same figure for December 2011. As a result UMC produced annual sales for 2012 of NT$105.9 billion (about $3.65 billion), up just 0.1 percent on the previous year.
In contrast, TSMC's sales for full year of more than NT500 billion up 18.5 percent produced record sales by a wide margin. The company has more than doubled its annual sales in nine years since 2003.
In 2011 TSMC invested heavily in switching technology nodes from 40nm to 28nm.
This figure of 16% drop of profit is an improvement of year before of 22% drop, shows they are already recovering.
Now waiting for EUV or Ebeam for 14nm node for next big slump.
You are right that foundry sales normally drop sequentially in December.
However. in TSMC's case over the last ten years that has typically been by single-digit percentage rather than a double-digit percentage.
I would think that lowered December sales makes sense given the timing and manufacturing lead times. December sales are too late for Christmas and too early for spring/summer consumer spending. If I was guessing I would think that Feb/March would be much better months for sales if the consumer markets hold on or are expected to grow for 2013. This