TSMC forecasts sustained chip demand, easing of auto chip shortage

[TAIPEI] Taiwan's TSMC posted record quarterly sales and forecast revenue for the current quarter will jump by at least a fifth, boosted by a pandemic-led surge in global demand for semiconductors that power smartphones, laptops and cars.

Revenue for April-June at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple supplier, climbed 28 per cent to a record US$13.29 billion.

For the quarter ending in September, TSMC forecast revenue of US$14.6 billion to US$14.9 billion, compared with US$12.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.

TSMC's business has been supported by a global chip shortage that has forced automakers to cut production and hurt manufacturers of smartphones, laptops and even appliances during the pandemic.

On Thursday, TSMC said on an analyst call that the auto chip shortage will gradually reduce for its customers from this quarter but expects overall semiconductor capacity tightness to extend possibly into next year.

The Taiwanese firm, which also makes chips for Qualcomm, had previously flagged a US$100 billion expansion plan over the next three years, as fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) technology and artificial intelligence applications drive global demand for advanced chips.

"Our second-quarter business was mainly driven by continued strength in high performance computing (HPC) and automotive-related demand," said chief financial officer Wendell Huang.

"Moving into the third quarter, we expect our business to be supported by strong demand for our industry-leading 5 nanometre and 7 nanometre technologies, driven by all four growth platforms, which are smartphone, HPC, IoT and automotive-related applications."

Analysts are bullish about TSMC's business in the coming quarters, citing strong demand for the company's most advanced 5 nanometre node technology as well as its upcoming 3 nanometre node, which is scheduled to enter trial production later this year.

For the second quarter, TSMC said profit rose 11 per cent to T$134.4 billion (S$6.51 billion) from a year earlier, just short of an average estimate of T$136.5 billion, drawn from 19 analysts by Refinitiv.

Shares of TSMC, the eleventh most valuable listed company in the world, have gained about 16 per cent so far this year, giving it a market value of US$567 billion, more than double that of chipmaker Intel.

TSMC's stock closed up 0.16 per cent on Thursday, compared with a 1.1 per cent gain for the benchmark index.

REUTERS

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