|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||309.00 - 312.00|
|52 Week Range||206.50 - 315.00|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.60|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||23.73|
|Earnings Date||Jan. 16, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||15.00 (4.90%)|
|1y Target Est||262.88|
Oct.16 -- Robert Maire, president of consulting firm Semiconductor Advisors, talks about Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which is scheduled to report its results on Thursday, and Samsung Electronics Co. He speaks with Shery Ahn and Haidi Stroud-Watts on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia."
(Bloomberg) -- Applied Materials Inc. gave a sales forecast for the current quarter that topped analysts’ estimates, suggesting a slump in orders for chipmaking equipment is ending.The company is the largest maker of machinery used in the manufacture of semiconductors, which are among the most important parts of the electronics supply chain. Customers of the Santa Clara, California-based company include Samsung Electronics Co., Intel Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., giving it a reach that makes its results and forecasts an important early indicator of business confidence. Intel and other chipmakers order equipment months in advance of starting new factories and production lines.Key InsightsFiscal first-quarter sales will be about $4.1 billion, Applied Materials said Thursday in a statement. That compares with analysts’ average estimate of $3.71 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Adjusted earnings per share will be 87 cents to 95 cents, the company said. Analysts projected 75 cents a share.The results “reflect a healthy uptick in demand for semiconductor equipment, combined with strong execution across the company,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Dickerson said in the statement.Chip-equipment makers often experience wild earnings swings. Machines cost tens of millions of dollars each. Delaying factory build outs is one of the fastest ways a chipmaker can preserve cash when they’re unsure of future demand.Net income was $698 million, or 75 cents a share in the period ended Oct. 27, compared with $757 million, or 77 cents a share, a year earlier.Revenue was little changed at $3.75 billion. Analysts were looking for $3.68 billion.Stock ReactionShares rose about 4% in extended trading after the announcement. The stock closed at $56.96 in New York and has increased 74% this year.More InformationFor more details, click here.To see the statement, click here.To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. reported quarterly profit above analysts’ estimates, indicating solid demand for Apple Inc.’s iPhone 11 range.The assembler of most of the world’s iPhones and iPads posted net income of NT$30.7 billion ($1 billion) for the September quarter, compared with an average estimate of NT$27.7 billion.Apple last month forecast holiday revenue that surpassed Wall Street’s projections, suggesting healthy appetite for iPhone 11 models with lower entry prices and vastly improved cameras. It’s now said to expect iPhone shipments to return to growth in 2020 when it finally introduces its own 5G devices -- a boon to hardware suppliers such as Hon Hai and chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. coping with a decelerating smartphone market. Assembly partners like Hon Hai and TSMC typically begin gearing up for production weeks, if not months, ahead of a device’s commercial launch.The outlook for Apple and its main suppliers remains overshadowed by an ongoing trade war. AirPods, Apple Watch, HomePod and other devices made in China have been hit with 15% tariffs, and U.S. President Donald Trump hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a levy on iPhones starting Dec. 15. Hon Hai said it’s getting into the production of wearable gear next year, potentially competing for more Apple business but also increasing its exposure to the trade war.Hon Hai, which gets half its revenue from its Cupertino, California partner, is now diversifying away from its main Chinese production base to mitigate the impact of potential punitive tariffs. It’s spending more than NT$17 billion building factories in India and Vietnam, responding to customers’ needs, Chief Financial Officer David Huang said at an earnings conference. Those two countries will become regional manufacturing hubs, he added.Read more: Apple Expects IPhone Shipments to Return to Growth in 2020Hon Hai’s investment encapsulates a fundamental trend that’s beginning to shake up production of most of the world’s electronics. Taiwanese companies like Hon Hai, which today make most of the most recognizable brands, began investing in China decades ago, kicking off a transformation that’s made China the world’s factory floor. But faced with growing trade tensions and U.S. tariffs, the leaders of those companies -- which typically operate on wafer-thin margins -- are reconsidering their commitment to China.Read more: The Tycoons Behind China’s Gadget Factories Boom Prepare to ExitAlthough any pivot away from the country is just starting, factories that leave won’t come back anytime soon. In Hon Hai’s case, billionaire founder Terry Gou has even promised to shift jobs and production into the American heartland. Gou has said he intends to press ahead with construction of a display panel factory in the state of Wisconsin, an endeavor once tagged as a $10 billion investment but that has fallen far behind schedule. Vice Chairman Jay Lee said that project was “‘on track.” Hon Hai has completed initial construction on the first, main factory and the company will also target the defense and aviation markets with its panels, he added.Hon Hai executives also forecast a rebound in consumer electronics demand in 2020, which could help prop up its top line. The company reported NT$1.39 trillion in sales for the September quarter, barely changed from a year earlier. Chairman Young Liu said the firm’s goal is to achieve 10% gross margins within three to five years. Its shares closed down 1.4% ahead of the earnings on Wednesday, after gaining 27% this year.“The lower pricing of the iPhone 11 has been effective in driving demand past the Street’s expectations,” Sean Lin, an analyst at President Capital Management Corp., said in a Nov. 4 note.(Updates with executives’ comments from the fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- You’ve got to feel for Mark Liu. The chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. just wants to make chips.And he does; the best chips for the best companies in the world. Unfortunately, one of his clients is Huawei Technologies Co. So it’s not surprising that the world’s largest contract chipmaker has found itself in something of a pickle. On the one hand, you’ve got officials in Washington repeatedly asking Taiwan’s government to restrain TSMC from selling chips to Huawei, as the Financial Times reported Monday, citing government sources in both the U.S. and Taiwan. The Chinese electronics giant — which the U.S. has accused of spying — is one of TSMC’s top-five clients and likely contributes roughly 5% to 10% of annual revenue.On the other is China, with a government-led policy to design and build more semiconductors in the coming years. Demand from U.S. companies currently dwarfs that of Huawei and other Chinese names. American tech giants such as Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Broadcom Corp. and Nvidia Corp. together account for 61% of TSMC’s revenue, and comprise the biggest buyers of the Taiwanese company’s most advanced technologies. But China is growing quickly, which leaves TSMC with an unappealing choice: Upset its current large client base in the U.S., or risk losing a future client base in China.There are two things that the U.S. is most scared about when it comes to TSMC. The first is that Chinese companies may get access to the best technology, including semiconductors, that could be used for nefarious purposes, which explains the pressure the FT cites. The other is that the U.S. itself may be cut off from the hardware supply chain, at the heart of which is TSMC.This is why U.S. officials have been hoping that manufacturers like TSMC would expand in America. At present, most of the company’s capacity is spread across three locations in north, central and southern Taiwan. It has two factories in China (the technology made there isn’t as advanced as back home) and one older facility in the U.S. Liu has politely pushed back against U.S. expansion citing the steep costs. In reality, it’s more the daunting logistics of setting up and staffing an advanced factory so far from home base where all the R&D is done. Each of its Taiwan facilities are close enough that engineers can move around and troubleshoot with relative ease. That makes TSMC the belle of the ball. Which sounds nice, except when it comes to choosing a dance partner — and Liu doesn’t want to have to decide. I’ve argued before that everyone will need to pick sides at some point as the digital Iron Curtain falls. For TSMC, this probably won’t come as a declaratory statement, but through quiet and subtle decisions on which cases it will accept and which it will turn down. This brings us back to Liu. In response to the FT report, TSMC spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun told Bloomberg News that the U.S. has not in fact asked it to stop supplying Huawei. Liu met with Commerce Department officials during a U.S. trip earlier this year where they talked about the Chinese company, she said, without elaborating on what they discussed. Meanwhile, a Taiwan cabinet spokeswoman denied that the U.S. asked its government to stop TSMC from shipping to Huawei. (1)I have covered TSMC for almost 20 years, and the notion that the Taiwan government would, or even could, tell the chipmaker what to do is hard to fathom. TSMC is Taiwan’s largest company. It’s publicly listed, has independent management and board of directors, and an impeccable reputation for corporate governance. As a chipmaker to the stars, there’s no other company in the world that can do what TSMC does in terms of technological prowess or sheer capacity. Samsung Electronics Co. and Intel Corp. are its nearest rivals.For now Liu can afford to rebuff pressure — direct or indirect — to cut off Huawei and expand in the U.S. TSMC holds all the cards because American clients desperately need the Taiwanese company’s technology, and Chinese ones aren’t big enough to buy up all of its factory capacity. It may end up offering to build a facility in America as an appeasement move.But TSMC won’t be able to sit on the fence forever. While Liu may want to just make chips, he’ll eventually have to make a choice.(1) I take the denial of Taiwan’s governmentwith a pinch of salt. It’s likely the U.S. consulted with Taiwanese officials on how to deal with the issue, though they may have stopped short of pressuring the company directly.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. Chairman Mark Liu said the company aims to resolve chip security issues by developing new technology to track where chips go and prevent them from being tampered with. He said making chips in the U.S. is not the solution for ensuring security for defense chips.Liu made his comments at a tech forum in Hsinchu, TaiwanThe American government has contacted its customers about making semiconductors in the U.S. TSMC did not hear directly from the Pentagon about U.S. productionU.S. chip production is “very difficult” due to cost issuesTo contact the reporter on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. gave a quarterly sales forecast that was in line with analysts’ estimates, suggesting the No. 2 maker of computer processors is gaining ground on Intel Corp.Revenue in the current period will be about $2.1 billion, plus or minus $50 million, Santa Clara, California-based AMD said Tuesday in a statement. That compares with an average analyst projection of $2.15 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Under Chief Executive Officer Lisa Su, AMD has introduced a raft of new products that reviewers and some customers say are competitive or better than those from Intel. That’s sparked a surge in AMD stock. Now investors want to see evidence that the new offerings are generating more orders.AMD took share in desktop computer chips and will continue to make gains in the market for chips that power the servers that are the backbone of corporate networks and the internet, Su said on a conference call with analysts.“We remain on track to achieve our near-term goal of double-digit server CPU share by mid-next year,” she said. Su also rejected Intel’s assertion that it’s only giving up market share in chips for cheap PCs.Intel, which has about 90% of the processor market, gave an upbeat sales forecast last week and executives said they hadn’t seen increasing competition. The company’s profit is about three times the size of AMD’s revenue.On Tuesday, AMD said third-quarter net income rose to $120 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with $102 million, or 9 cents, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, profit in the recent period was 18 cents a share, meeting analysts’ projections. Revenue in the period was $1.8 billion, up 9% from the same period a year earlier. That was in line with Wall Street estimates.AMD’s gross margin, or the percentage of sales remaining after deducting the cost of production, widened to 43% in the third quarter. A year earlier, that measure of profitability came in at 40%. Minus certain items, the margin will be 44% in the fourth quarter, widening the annual number for 2019 to 43%, AMD said.The company’s shares were little changed in extended trading following the report, after ending at $33.03 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 79% this year.AMD has been trying to get back into the lucrative business of server chips. While it’s a lower-volume sector, server chips command much higher prices. AMD has about 3% of this market. The last time it was truly competitive with Intel, more than a decade ago, it had a quarter of that business.Sales of AMD’s new Epyc server chip are reported as part of a unit that includes other chips used by Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. in their game consoles. Demand for those processors slumped, dragging down the division’s sales by 27% from a year earlier. AMD said Epyc sales and shipments jumped more than 50% compared with the prior period.In personal computer processors and graphics, AMD’s sales increased 36% year over year. That performance was helped by the higher average selling prices of its newer products, AMD said.AMD is also trying to exploit Intel’s delays in shifting production to more advanced technology. AMD now outsources manufacturing of its best chips to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which analysts calculate is more than a year ahead of Intel in implementing new processes.(Updates with comment from CEO in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Chip stocks are suddenly back in vogue. Intel’s stock rallied 7.5% in mid-afternoon trading after the company reported record third quarter profits and raised its full-year sales guidance.
(Bloomberg) -- A top-performing global technology fund manager has raised bets on Samsung Electronics Co., making the stock the number one holding in his portfolio, ahead of Apple Inc. or Alphabet Inc.Hyunho Sohn, portfolio manager at FIL Investment Management whose Fidelity Global Technology fund runs about $4.8 billion of assets, said he has been adding positions in the world’s largest memory-chip maker since late 2018. He interpreted the sharp plunge in Samsung’s share price toward the end of that year as an opportunity, and he believes in the long-term growth of the tech giant.“If you ask me why I bought the stock, while the chip cycle was experiencing a downturn, I’d say I have faith in its fundamentals from a long-term perspective,” Sohn said in a telephone interview from London. “Samsung is a typical example of my strategy, which is buying an undervalued stock that the market participants hate temporarily.”Read about Bloomberg Intelligence’s take on the global chip sector hereHis fund, which holds about 60 global technology stocks, has beaten 98% of its peers with an annualized return of about 20% over the past five years, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. The fund’s top five holdings also include Alphabet, Apple, Intel Corp., and Microsoft Corp.The potential growth in demand for memory chips is apparent in the growing needs of cloud storage and service providers alongside the artificial intelligence industry that needs data storage, he said, adding he is also watching the development of 5G networks, which may drive demand for memory chips. Compared with global tech stocks, valuations of Samsung are “still attractive,” he added.Read more: Samsung’s Stock Is Signaling a Bottom for the Global Chip MarketAlthough Samsung’s forward price-to-earnings ratio of 12.6 times is not cheap compared with its historical average, it still lags Micron Technology Inc.’s 14.7 times and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 18.6. On forward price-to-book terms, Samsung is trading at 1.2 times, lower than almost all of its peers.Shares of Samsung have risen about 30% this year as overseas investors bought net 4.3 trillion won ($3.6 billion) of shares, the most sought-after stock on Korea’s KOSPI benchmark this year.Read more: TSMC’s $15 Billion Splurge Galvanizes Hope of 5G-Led ReboundTo be sure, it’s not all rosy for the memory chip sector. Micron, the third-largest player in the industry, released disappointing sales forecasts last month. And Samsung’s third-quarter preliminary earnings guidance announced earlier this month is less than half of its operating profits a year earlier. Chip prices have also been mixed. Contract prices for 32-gigabyte DRAM server modules fell 13.8% in the third quarter from the previous three-month period, while those for 128-gigabit MLC NAND flash memory chips rose 12.3%, according to inSpectrum Tech Inc.“I know we don’t see clear signs of recovery in the memory chip industry yet,” Sohn said. “But for me, based on valuations, long-term growth potential, and balance sheet metrics like free cash flow, Samsung is a stock that I am comfortable with having large positions in. I still see an upside for the stock.”(Adds Sohn’s comment on 5G in paragraph after the first chart)To contact the reporter on this story: Heejin Kim in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lianting Tu at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s plan to spend as much as $15 billion on technology and capacity in 2019 -- roughly 50% higher than originally envisioned -- is spurring hopes that the dawn of fifth-generation networks will rev up global chip and smartphone demand.The primary chip supplier to Apple Inc. told investors it’s sharply increasing its estimate for 2019 capital expenditure to between $14 billion to $15 billion from as much as $11 billion previously, and Chief Financial Officer Wendell Huang said 2020 spending will be similar. The Taiwanese company also projected current-quarter revenue ahead of estimates, an affirmation that the latest iPhones have proven a hit with consumers.Chief Executive Officer C. C. Wei sketched out hopes that the emergence of 5G, the foundation of future technologies from automated factories and smart homes to blazing-fast consumer electronics, will help underpin its business in coming years. TSMC, which is the world’s largest contract chipmaker, and is seen as a barometer for the tech industry thanks to its heft and place in the supply chain, said the advent of 5G-enabled smartphones will result in more chips in devices than before.“We are much more optimistic than six months ago,” Wei said, adding that the 5G momentum was larger than the company expected. TSMC has increased its forecast of the 5G smartphone penetration rate in 2020 to a percentage in the mid-teens from its previous single-digit estimate. Many countries, especially larger ones, were rapidly pushing ahead with 5G rollout plans, Wei added.TSMC Puts All Its Chips on Capex. That’s a Smart Bet: Tim CulpanTSMC’s capital spending plan and outlook prompted price-target hikes from several analysts including at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Its shares, which notched a lifetime high just this month, stood largely unchanged Friday in Taipei. More broadly, suppliers including ASML Holding NV, Applied Materials Inc. and Tokyo Electron Ltd. could stand to benefit from TSMC’s capex increase.In addition to 5G, TSMC’s push is driven by growing demand from tech giants such as Apple and Huawei Technologies Co., said Roger Sheng, a semiconductor analyst with Gartner. Although the outlook remains uncertain for 2020, the global semiconductor market is set to make a gradual recovery on the back of the demand related to 5G, AI and automotive applications, according to a note from TrendForce on Oct. 2.“Everyone is waiting to see a bounce back of global smartphone market next year after Apple adopts 5G. The self-designed Huawei chipsets will also push demand, as will Qualcomm’s 5nm chips for next year and AMD’s server chip demand,” Sheng said.On Thursday, TSMC also underlined expectations that Apple, its largest customer, is riding a bounce-back in demand for the iPhones after a lukewarm 2018 iteration. Lower prices and aging handsets are helping drive demand for the iPhone 11 range, and Apple is said to be asking its assemblers to target the high end of an original forecast for 70 million to 75 million unit shipments in 2019.Read more: Apple’s Lower Prices, Users’ Aging Handsets Drive IPhone DemandThe Taiwanese company foresees revenue of $10.2 billion to $10.3 billion in the pivotal December holiday quarter, surpassing an average projection for about $9.9 billion. TSMC gave that sales outlook after reporting net income of NT$101.1 billion ($3.3 billion) for the September quarter, handily beating estimates as the global chip market recovers.Still, fallout from ongoing trade conflicts could crimp an industry revival. While TSMC doesn’t factor trade conflicts into its capex plans, any international trade war will have a negative effect on the semiconductor sector, Wei said. China is an especially important market for TSMC and the semiconductor industry, he added.TSMC and its industry peers had grappled with a plateauing smartphone market, efforts by Apple to move beyond hardware, and U.S. tech-export curbs on No. 2 customer Huawei. But investors are growing more confident that the emergence of 5G will prop up chip prices and demand, while the latest iPhones are firing up consumers. TSMC is in fact straining against capacity constraints in the current quarter, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Mark Li said.The “iPhone is driving stronger near-term demand. We believe the competitive pricing of iPhone 11 is garnering good traction and has prompted Apple to place more orders at the supply chain,” Li said in an Oct. 10 note.Read more: Taiwan’s Market Fortunes Are Tied to TSMC Like Never Before(Updates with analysts’ hikes and shares from the fifth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at firstname.lastname@example.org;Gao Yuan in Beijing at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors looking for signs that the worst is over for the chip sector would be pleased by what Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. served up Thursday. All of its key earnings data point to a rebound in demand, and more importantly to pragmatic inventory management after a glut last year dragged down the entire industry. TSMC’s third-quarter net income beat estimates and its fourth-quarter revenue outlook came in at the top of analysts’ expectations. But the standout headline from the company’s investor conference was its decision to boost its capital expenditure this year by close to 40%. By the end of September it had already shelled out $9.4 billion of the “more than” $11 billion it had previously expected for the full year.That may seem like a brave wager, considering a deepening trade war on two fronts — between the U.S. and China, as well as Japan and South Korea — and President Donald Trump’s campaign against TSMC’s key client, Huawei Technologies Co. Just months ago, shoppers were eschewing futuristic gadgets and putting off smartphone upgrades. But TSMC has rarely made mistakes about how to spend its capex: This plan is not only bold but smart. The world’s biggest chipmaker plans to spend a record-breaking $14 billion to $15 billion this year on the leading-edge equipment it needs to manufacture chips for devices such as Apple Inc. iPhones and Huawei’s smartphones. The company turned more aggressive, CEO C.C. Wei explained, because it sees stronger-than-expected demand for next-generation manufacturing technologies. These chips will be used in smartphones, data centers, IoT devices (think Amazon Alexa) and even cars, he said. Wei said he’s confident that the higher spending will be justified by quicker revenue growth, especially with faster fifth-generation mobile networks and handsets ready to go mainstream in the coming year. Because of the technology involved, 5G networks require more base stations than an equivalent 4G rollout, which will further help semiconductor sales.What should really cheer investors, though, are the figures that often get overlooked, namely inventory. One of the biggest problems afflicting the sector a year ago was that companies — from Apple to PC-chipmaker Intel Corp. and iPhone assembler Foxconn Technology Group — all overshot the mark when it came to buying and building chips, only to be met with lackluster demand from consumers.TSMC’s inventory, measured in Taiwan dollars, fell by 8.2% in the September quarter, the biggest drop in more than two years. Days of inventory — another measure that tracks its stockpiles — dropped to 65 days, the lowest in 18 months. This shows that there’s a smaller risk that TSMC and its clients got ahead of themselves this time. Before celebrating a new dawn for the tech sector, there is a caveat. More sales for TSMC doesn’t necessarily mean more devices being sold to end consumers. That’s because smartphones are becoming even smarter, requiring more chips inside. High-end cameras, for example, require higher-resolution sensors, which in turn means more chips within a phone to manage the power, data and memory that such functionality requires. That said, investors looking for an excuse to jump back into tech shares got exactly what they needed from TSMC. If not signs of stronger demand, evidence of pragmatic inventory management makes it look like a safer sector to place a bet.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Today, the world’s largest foundry, Taiwan Manufacturing Semiconductor Company or TSMC, released its third-quarter earnings, rallying chip stocks.
(Bloomberg) -- ASML Holding NV forecast fourth-quarter sales ahead of analysts’ expectations, as Europe’s largest semiconductor equipment maker won orders for 23 more of its newest lithography machines.The Netherlands-based company, which has a monopoly on extreme ultraviolet-lithography equipment, predicts sales of 3.9 billion euros ($4.3 billion) for the fourth quarter, compared with an average estimate of 3.87 billion euros. A year earlier, ASML reported sales of 3.14 billion euros over that quarter.Shares of ASML fell as much as 2.1%. The shares has surged 77% so far this year through Tuesday, making ASML the fourth Dutch company with a market value of more than a 100 billion euros.Key InsightsASML, an important supplier to chip makers including Samsung Electronics Co. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., forecasts a gross margin of about 48% to 49% in the fourth quarter of the year, matching the average estimate for 48.8%.The 23 EUV orders in the third quarter contributed to the highest-ever value of bookings in one quarter, said Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink. “This strong order flow confirms the adoption of EUV in high volume manufacturing for Logic and Memory.”Wennink added he expects the Logic business to continue to be strong, driven by the leading-edge nodes supporting end-market technology and applications such as 5G and artificial intelligence, while the timing of the memory industry’s recovery remains uncertain.ASML locked in bookings worth of 5.1 billion euros in the last quarter.Analyst Comment“The order value really pops out, what is impressive amid the trade war and negative impact on electronics,” InsingerGilissen Bankiers analyst Jos Versteeg said by phone, “Such a strong growth does show how confident chip manufacturers are and that they do not want to miss the boat. I think the build-up to 5G leads to a considerable demand for semiconductors.”Know MoreThird-quarter sales came in at 2.99 billion euros, slightly below the average estimate of 3.01 billion euros. In the quarter, ASML shipped seven EUV systems, three of which were NXE:3400C, the higher productivity model.ASML newest machines, called extreme ultraviolet lithography systems or EUV, etch smaller circuits while increasing capacity and speed. EUV machines, about the size of a bus, cost more than 100 million euros each. ASML earns the bulk of its revenue in Asia.ASML models an annual revenue opportunity of 13 billion euros in 2020 and an annual revenue of between 15 billion euros and 24 billion euros through 2025, based on its positive view of technology drivers such as 5G communications, automotive, artificial intelligence and data centers. CEO Wennink said in the statement he continues to see 2019 as a growth year.What Bloomberg Intelligence says:Greater exposure to chip lithography equipment could help ASML achieve strong sales growth from 2020 onward, although sales and profit may temporarily drop in 2019. ASML is well-positioned as the only maker of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines, for the next generation of chips for AI and 5G.(Updates with shares, analyst comment.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Proper in Amsterdam at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Yesterday, AMD launched its low-end Navi-based Radeon RX 5500 GPU. Industry rumors indicate that NVIDIA’s Ampere GPUs could arrive by mid-2020.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said that in lawsuits filed on Monday it has asked for injunctions to stop GlobalFoundries' manufacture and sale of chips that infringe the patents. TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker, said in a statement on Tuesday it was seeking "substantial monetary damages from GlobalFoundries" but did not specify an amount.
AMD has delayed the September launch of Ryzen 3950X to November. There are rumors that the delay might be either due to constraints or clocking issues.
(Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei Technologies Co. took turns announcing new mobile processors at the IFA technology show in Berlin last week, and the big thing the new chips have in common is an integrated 5G modem.In a market dominated by U.S. rival Qualcomm Inc., the world’s two biggest smartphone manufacturers asserted a lead in delivering one of the keys to unlocking widespread availability of 5G devices. A system-on-chip that integrates the applications processor and a fifth-generation wireless modem significantly reduces the space and power requirements compared to existing solutions that use two separate chips.Qualcomm has such models on its 2020 road map, but this past week Samsung announced it’s planning mass production for its alternative at the end of 2019 and Huawei is moving even faster, promising to release its most advanced processor with the Mate 30 Pro smartphone on Sept. 19.The Kirin 990 5G from Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon is built at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and packs more than 10.3 billion transistors into a space the size of a fingernail. It includes a graphics processor, an octa-core CPU, and the all-important 5G modem, along with dedicated neural processing units for accelerating artificial intelligence tasks.At Huawei’s Berlin launch event, consumer group Chief Executive Officer Richard Yu showed the high-end 990 5G achieving real-world download speeds on China Mobile’s network in excess of 1.7Gbps. That’s fast enough to download high-definition movies and demanding 3-D games in a matter of seconds.Samsung’s approach with its Exynos 980 is to target the mid-range. Along with 5G capabilities, this new chip integrates 802.11ax fast Wi-Fi along with Samsung’s own NPU. It won’t run apps and games quite as quickly as flagship chips, but should help the South Korean company garner a slice of the more mainstream market before Qualcomm brings out an armada of new 5G-capable chips next year.Samsung’s emphasis on this part of the mobile market was also signaled by its launch of the Galaxy A90 this month, one of the earliest examples of a mid-range device with 5G.Huawei’s Next Flagship Phone Set to Sink Without Google Apps (1)For its part, Qualcomm is promising to cover the entire range of price points and mobile device types with its 5G portfolio in 2020, however the world’s premier mobile chip designer is finding itself behind its faster-moving rivals.While Huawei is “pushing to show tech leadership,” the company has “made sacrifices in order to make an integrated SOC,” said Anshel Sag, mobile industry analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. He cited the chip’s lack of support for mmWave -- the high-frequency 5G favored by U.S. carriers AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. plus some European ones -- as an example. The Kirin 990 5G is fast by today’s standards and a great upgrade for Huawei’s upcoming devices in China, but Sag said it’ll find itself outpaced by rivals in 2020.The silver lining to the trade war for Qualcomm, however, is that Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro will struggle to sell in Europe so long as the Trump administration prevents it from offering Google services on new phones. Irrespective of how fast and advanced its Kirin 990 5G may be, the trade war will prevent Huawei from fully capitalizing on its capabilities and may, in fact, push the company to license the chip out to other smartphone vendors, such as Lenovo Group, which is not subject to the same sanctions.If the U.S. keeps Huawei on its blacklist, preventing it from buying American technology, the company faces further chip challenges. To develop successors to the Kirin 990, it needs to license the latest designs from SoftBank Group’s ARM, but that company discontinued work with Huawei because of the U.S. ban.(Updates with analyst comment in the third from last paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nate Lanxon, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Chipmakers have spent two decades pouring investment into a revolutionary new technique to push the limits of physics and cram more transistors onto slices of silicon. Now that technology is on the cusp of going mainstream, thanks to a secretive Japanese company that’s mastered the skill of manipulating light for applications from squid fishing to cinema projection.Ushio Inc. announced July it had cleared a key milestone, perfecting the powerful, ultra-precise lights needed to test chip designs based on extreme ultraviolet lithography or EUV, the process through which the next generation of semiconductors will be made. With that, the Japanese company became a major player in future chipmaking.“The infrastructure is now mostly ready,” Chief Executive Officer Koji Naito said in an interview. “Testing equipment was one of the things holding back EUV. With that piece in place, production efficiency and yields can go up.”Read more: How an Obscure Rubber Company Became a Linchpin of Tech IndustryUshio’s advances cement its position among a coterie of little-known Japanese companies indispensable to the production of the world’s consumer electronics. The Tokyo-based company developed a light source for equipment used to test what are known as masks: glass squares slightly bigger than a CD case that act as a stencil for chip designs. These templates have to be absolutely perfect, as even a tiny defect in one of them can render every chip in a large batch unusable.That’s where Ushio comes in. Its technology uses lasers to vaporize liquid tin into plasma and produce light closer in wavelength to X-rays than the spectrum visible to the human eye. That light helps chipmakers spot potential defects in the product. This process takes a room-sized machine that looks like a sci-fi death ray and requires a team of people to operate. After 15 years in development, the EUV business will start contributing to profit from the next fiscal year, Naito said, without giving further details.The move to EUV is the culmination of a decades-old trend. The push for smaller geometries that started when integrated circuits replaced vacuum tubes in the 1970s is approaching its final stages, and the number of companies that can compete in that space has been whittled down to a handful. Only Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. have plans to use EUV to go smaller than the 7-nanometer processes that are the current cutting edge of CPU design. All three will use lithography machines from ASML Holding NV, and for a few specialist suppliers like Ushio, that means a chance to have a 100% share of their respective markets.“We don’t chase the mass market, even though there is potentially a ton of money to be made in home lighting or automotive,” Naito said. “Instead, we want to focus on niche areas and do things that others can’t.”Naito believes Ushio is positioned to control the market for light sources used in testing of patterned EUV masks, while a small group of fellow Japanese companies specialize in other aspects of the technology. JSR Corp. and Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co., for instance, control production of the light-sensitive resins required to print the designs, while the blank masks are made by only two companies, AGC Inc. and Hoya Corp., which both use Lasertec Corp.’s machines to test for flaws. All are based in the greater Tokyo area and espouse an almost artisanal commitment to high-precision manufacturing.Why Japan and South Korea Have Their Own Trade War: QuickTakeThe fact that much of the EUV supply chain hails from a single country was seized upon by Japan in its trade spat with South Korea. Tokyo slapped export restrictions on key materials heading to Korea, giving undesired attention to companies that prefer to operate behind the scenes. While Ushio’s machines were not targeted, photo-resists made by JSR and Tokyo Ohka made the sanctions list. The government has since relented, but concern lingers that the industry’s delicate balance may be again disrupted in the future.“There hasn’t been a direct impact for us yet,” Naito said. “But because we have such a high market share for our products, we feel a responsibility to absolutely make sure our customers’ production lines do not stop.”Alongside its EUV ambitions, Ushio commands an 80% share of the market for lithography lamps used to make liquid crystal displays and controls 95% of the supply of excimer lamps used in silicon wafer cleaning. The key to its success is balancing mass production with craftsmanship. Materials like quartz glass are difficult to handle and have different thermal expansion properties from metals like the molybdenum in which they are housed. Some of the lamps still have to be finished by hand.“Wherever you have a manufacturing process that needs to shine a very bright light, you will find Ushio,” said Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd.Ushio’s expertise also extends beyond semiconductors. Founded in 1964, it was the first Japanese company to develop and produce halogen lamps. From 1973, fishermen began to use its lights to catch squid -- -- a controversial technique in many countries. Finding new uses for its technology, from tanning salons to movie projectors, helped Ushio more than triple its sales over the past 25 years. The company is now experimenting with the use of sodium lamps to nurture plants and using ultraviolet light calibrated to such a precise wavelength as to kill bacteria without damaging human skin.“For Japanese firms with strong legacy manufacturing technology, the bigger danger is being trapped in them,” Thong said. “You have to give Ushio credit for moving further downstream, away from manufacturing toward something that requires more system integration.”To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at email@example.com;Yuki Furukawa in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.