Taipei Oct. 18 (CNA)－Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said Thursday that its net profit for the third quarter was up more than 23 percent from a quarter earlier, on the back of the peak season effect.
In an investor conference held after the local equity market closed, TSMC said it posted NT$89.07 billion (US$2.88 billion) in net profit for the July-September period, up 23.2 percent from a quarter earlier but down 0.9 percent from a year earlier.
Its earnings per share for the third quarter stood at NT$3.44, compared with NT$2.79 in the second quarter and NT$3.47 over the same period of last year, according to TSMC data.
The third-quarter earnings were in line with market expectations. Riding on strong demand for communication devices and industrial products in the global market, TSMC generated US$8.49 billion in consolidated sales for the third quarter, up 8.1 percent from the second quarter, beating an earlier estimated range of between US$8.28 billion and US$8.38 billion.
In Taiwan dollar terms, the third-quarter sales hit NT$260.35 billion, up 11.6 percent from a quarter earlier. Sales generated from chips used in communication devices rose 24 percent from a quarter earlier in the third quarter and revenue from chips used in industrial products also gained 6 percent, while sales posted by chips used in consumer electronics and computers fell 1 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
In the third quarter, TSMC’s gross margin — which reflects the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold — hit 47.4 percent in the third quarter, down 0.4 percentage points from a quarter earlier but within a target range of 47 percent-49 percent.
TSMC said the 7-nanometer process, the latest technology to begin commercial production in the company, accounted for 11 percent of its total sales for the third quarter, fulfilling the company’s expectations.
In the first nine months of this year, TSMC’s net profit rose 3 percent from a year earlier to NT$251.15 billion, with EPS of NT$9.69. Its gross margin stood at 48.5 percent, down 2.4 percentage points from a year earlier.