TSMC First-Quarter Profit Rises 49% as Chip Sales Rise


Top contract chip maker TSMC posted on Tuesday a 49 percent rise in first-quarter earnings that beat expectations on rising sales of chips for PCs and consumer gadgets.

But the results fell short of a record hit in the fourth quarter as weakness in the global economy this year dented chip sales, and a stronger Taiwan dollar squeezed profit margins at TSMC and its smaller rival UMC.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), which sells the bulk of its products to North America, booked January-March net profit of T$28.143 billion ($925 million), the company said in a statement.

That compared with T$18.84 billion a year ago and the fourth quarter's T$34.5 billion.

Analysts had expected TSMC to earn T$27.11 billion in the first quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.

PC and gadget sales are expected to be typically slower in the first half, but some analysts say new computers and feature-jammed mobile phones could fly off the shelves in the second half, spurring fresh demand for the chips that go in them. In Taipei, shares of TSMC rose 2 percent and shares of UMC, whose quarterly profits due out on Wednesday, fell 7 percent in the first quarter.