TSMC tops Intel’s market cap at record high

By Christine Chou, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The world’s top contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC, 台積電) saw shares temporarily hit NT$199, up 2.31-percent from their previous close on Friday, reaching a historic high for market capitalization among all listed companies on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. According to local media cnYES.com, the foundry’s market value calculated based on the price of its American depositary receipts on Monday expanded to over US$171 billion — topping rival Intel’s market cap on the same day at US$165 billion.

The chipmaker’s shares gained 1.03 percent to NT$196.50 as of 12:07 a.m., off an early high of NT$199 with 34.93 million shares changing hands. Analysts said the strong intra-day performance resulted from market optimism from foreign investors, sparked by the strength of its American Depository Receipts.

TSMC projected its consolidated revenue for the second quarter to fall between NT$213 billion and NT$216 billion, down from 8-percent to 9-percent from the previous quarter. The firm attributed the drop to supply chain and inventory adjustments and lower seasonal demand for smartphones. However, the third quarter is expected to see sales bounce back as the industry’s peak season for smartphones approaches, also benefiting from an increase in shipments of chips made with the advanced 10-nanometer process. The company forecasts 10-nm chips could account for more than 10-percent of total revenue this year, while revenue in U.S. dollars is expected to increase from 5-percent to 10-percent.

It is also strongly confident that its upcoming 7-nm chips would help the firm increase its global market share. Ex-TSMC Engineer Indicted In other news, a former engineer with TSMC was indicted by the Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office Tuesday for breach of trust and violation of the Trade Secrets Act for attempting to use stolen 28-nm process technology in a new position with a mainland Chinese firm, Shanghai Huali Microelectronics Corp. (HLMC, 華力微). According to local media, TSMC previously said the engineer had resigned in January, but made copies of a large number of documents related to the chip-making technology. The engineer, surnamed Hsu, was fired immediately after he admitted to making copies of confidential information. TSMC said it plans to officially notify HLMC Tuesday that any unlawful effort to use stolen trade secrets will be subject to prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.