CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-TSMC, UMC post lower June sales, lack rebound strength in Q3

Fri Jul 8, 2011 3:29am EDT

(Corrects headline, lead paragraph to show TSMC, UMC posted, not forecast, lower June sales)

* TSMC's June sales up 1.5 pct y/y, UMC down 11.24 pct

* TSMC, UMC on third consecutive monthly sales decline in June

* Recovery weaker than expected in Q3 - analyst

TAIPEI, July 8 (Reuters) - World's top two chipmakers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd and United Microelectronics Corp , posted a decline in sales for a third consecutive month in June amid weaker global demand and as foundries took time to digest inventories stocked up after the Japan earthquake in March.

Into the third quarter, analysts forecast a flat to slower recovery, tuning down from earlier optimism that the industry might rebound in the traditional high season.

"The industry is worried about a high season not being high in the third quarter this year," said Kevin Lin, a vice president at Fuh Hong Financial Planning. "It will still be better than the second quarter but not as big a recovery as originally expected."

TSMC , the world's biggest contract chipmaker, said on Friday that sales in June rose 1.5 percent from a year earlier, much slower than May's 6.3 percent growth and March's 18 percent.

Smaller cross-town rival UMC sales in the same month dropped for a second consecutive month, down 11.13 percent from a year earlier.

Semiconductor inventory levels at chip suppliers worldwide are believed to have risen for a seventh consecutive month as the industry rebuilds depleted stockpiles and prepares for expected increases in demand, Research company IHS iSuppli said on Thursday.

In the face of weaker demand, local newspapers reported this week that TSMC might cut full-year capital expenditure by 10 percent to $7 billion, and UMC might follow suit.

Late last month, traders and fund managers said Merrill Lynch had downgraded TSMC, citing in part a possible slowdown in orders from Apple Inc .

For a table on TSMC's website, see here

For a table on UMC's website, see here (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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