TSMC sales soar 44% – and that’s before iPhone 14 chip demand

Taiwan’s TSMC reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, providing another signal that electronics demand is holding up better than feared.

The world’s largest contract chip maker booked NT$534.1-billion (US$17.9-billion) of revenue for the second quarter, compared to the average analysts’ estimate of NT$519-billion.

The results from Apple’s most important chip maker may allay investors’ worst fears about the impact of weakening demand and soaring costs on the $550-billion semiconductor industry. On Thursday, Samsung Electronics also reported a better-than-anticipated 21% jump in revenue, triggering an Asian stock rally.

While concerns linger about the longer-term impact of a potential global recession, investors seized on Samsung’s top-line expansion as a sign that chip stocks may have been oversold. TSMC may be able to exceed its goal of growing sales by 30% in US dollar terms this year, said Jeff Pu, an analyst with Haitong International Securities.

“TSMC’s second quarter sales are slightly lower than the most recent market expectations,” Pu said. “But the company’s third quarter revenue may outperform consensus, aided by its price hike and Apple’s new product launch.”

TSMC, the world’s most advanced maker of silicon chips, has benefited from its most important customer. Over the past year and a half, Apple has launched five types of Mac chips. The Taiwanese firm also continues to ride the motoring industry’s growing demand for semiconductors as cars become more digitised.

Signs are emerging that the chip supply issues that plagued gadget companies and car makers for more than a year are easing. Motoring industry executives have said they are seeing an improvement in component supply, while delivery times for chips fell by one day in June.

Shares of TSMC closed up 2.1% on Friday ahead of the revenue announcement, but are still down 24% this year after a broader tech selloff on recession worries.  — (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP

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