Revenue at Taiwan’s TSMC rose to a record in the first quarter on demand for chips used in smartphones, computers and cars, while a prolonged shortage helped to boost prices.
Revenue jumped 36% to NT$491.1-billion (US$17-billion) in the three months to March, the company said in a statement on Friday. Analysts estimated NT$469.4-billion on average. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker, is slated to report full earnings later this month.
Demand for mobile phones, smart televisions and other gadgets from makers such as Apple and Samsung Electronics remains robust even as consumers in major markets in Europe and the US exit pandemic-era lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements. Meanwhile a chip shortage is yet to ease — the wait times for semiconductor delivery grew again in March due to China’s Covid lockdowns and a Japan earthquake that hit production, according to research by Susquehanna Financial Group.
TSMC has kept production running in China, even as many other factories suspended operations to cope with the local pandemic policy. The chip assembler said in end-March that it will rearrange production priorities to deal with a shift in demand caused by Covid restrictions in Shanghai and Shenzhen. TSMC wasn’t planning to revise down its sales and capital spending forecasts for 2022, Chairman Mark Liu said at the time.
Shares of TSMC have lost about 8% this year, hurt by a broader decline in global technology stocks and China’s lockdowns which have weighed on consumer demand and affected supply chains. The stock advanced 0.2% on Friday ahead of the company’s report. — Betty Hou, (c) 2022 Reuters