Mixed Results for Taiwan’s Chip Firms

There were mixed results for Taiwan’s main semiconductor companies last month, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) and United Microelectronics (UMC) reporting sequential sales increases, while MediaTek’s monthly results were lower than market expectations.

TSMC saw sales climb 8% month on month and 35.1% year on year to NT$74.8 billion ($2.4 billion) in September, taking sales for the year to date to NT$540.3 billion ($17.7 billion), up 19.7% compared with the same time last year. UMC’s monthly sales of NT$12.2 billion ($401 million) represented a 7.4% MoM increase and almost 13% rise YoY. The company’s sales for the first nine months of the year reached NT$102.8 billion ($3.3 billion), up 10.8% from the corresponding period a year earlier. MediaTek, by comparison, saw sales fall 5.7% sequentially to NT$18.5 billion ($608.4 million), though this was an improvement of 42.2% from September 2013. However, the company had been expected to post sales of more than NT$20 billion ($657.7 million) and while Q3 sales improved 6.2% from Q2 to NT$57.5 billion ($1.9 billion), this was the lower-end target of the company’s third quarter guidance. For the first nine months of 2014, revenues amounted to NT$157.6 billion ($5.2 billion), an increase of 63.7% from a year earlier.

In a separate announcement, UMC said it plans to invest $1.35 billion in a three-way joint venture with the city government of Xiamen and Fujian Electronics & Information Group to make advanced chips in China. The five year investment will begin in 2015 and marks the firm