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TSMC fourth quarter profit rises 23% to record high on work-from-home, iPhone boost

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FILE PHOTO: A logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is seen at its headquarters in Hsinchu

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) posted on Thursday a record high quarterly profit, boosted by demand for devices requiring high-end chips as the pandemic forces people to work from home and for Apple's new iPhone.

October-December net profit for TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker, reached T$142.8 billion ($5.10 billion), 23% higher than a year ago.

That was better than the T$135.39 billion average of 22 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

Revenue for the Apple Inc supplier rose 22% to $12.68 billion, versus its earlier estimated range of $12.4 billion to $12.7 billion.

Analysts said sales of advanced chips have been boosted by strong demand for high-end smartphones including the iPhone 12 as well as for devices equipped with new technology such as fifth-generation (5G) networking and artificial intelligence.

The Taiwanese manufacturer, whose clients also include Qualcomm Inc, has benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic as corporations seek to add more bandwidth for remote workers and people working from home invest in premium devices.

TSMC's share price has jumped more than 11% in 2021, giving the stock a market value of $560.7 billion.

($1 = 28.0050 Taiwan dollars)

(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Himani Sarkar)