* Q3 profit jumps to a record
* Sees mobile devices driving growth
* Q4, Q1 revenues to dip, sees Q2 rebound
By Faith Hung
TAIPEI, Oct 25 Taiwan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) forecast two
quarters of weaker revenue but said the boom in mobile devices
that drove it to record third-quarter profit would fuel a
rebound from April.
Cutting-edge 28 nanometre technology has put the world's
biggest contract chip maker ahead of rivals as consumers shift
to mobile gadgets like Apple Inc's iPad and iPhone and
away from personal computers.
"We think the reason (for rebound in Q2) is the strength of
mobile demand," Chairman Morris Chang told an investor briefing.
"We expect mobile products to be strong for a number of years."
Shipments of chips made by 28-nanometer process technology,
which can cram much more computing power into smaller chips and
is widely sought after for mobile devices, more than doubled
during the third quarter and accounted for 13 percent of total
wafer revenues, TSMC said.
But rising inventory levels at end-users like automakers and
computer makers have stoked concerns, and TSMC said inventory
adjustment will cause a fall in fourth-quarter revenue and a
"modest dip" in the first quarter of 2013.
Texas Instruments Inc, a key TSMC client, this week
forecast surprisingly weak revenue for the fourth quarter,
saying its customers were nervous about demand amid a
deteriorating global economy.
Chipmakers Broadcomm Corp and LSI Corp have
also recently forecast weak fourth-quarter revenue. Chipmakers
tied to the PC chain have been among the hardest hit as
customers gravitate to mobile devices instead.
TSMC said net profit in the July-September period jumped 62
percent to a record T$49.3 billion ($1.7 billion) from a year
earlier, above the T$45.3 billion average estimate of 22
analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The figure compares with T$41.8 billion in the second
TSMC said it saw revenue in the fourth quarter at between
T$129 billion and T$131 billion, versus the third quarter's
T$141.4 billion. Its gross margin would dip to between 45
percent and 47 percent from 48.8 percent in the third quarter.
Capital spending next year would be in "the same ballpark"
as this year, Chang said. Spending this year will total $8.3
TSMC's clients include Texas Instruments and Nvidia
Before the results announcement, TSMC shares closed down 0.7
percent, in line with the broader market. The shares are
up 12 percent for the year to date, compared with a 2.7 percent
rise for the broader market.