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TSMC sees increase in China revenue in Q3'19

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.'s China revenue made up 20% of its total in the third quarter, up from 15% year over year, according to an Oct. 17 management report by the chipmaker.

The Taiwan-based chip manufacturer reported total revenue of NT$293.05 billion in the third quarter, a 12.6% year-over-year increase from NT$260.35 billion.

"Our Chinese customers are generally increasing," CFO Wendell Huang said. More than 100 out of its 400 active customers are based in China, he said. Revenue from North America decreased to 60% of the total, from 62% in the prior-year period.

The company said it will diversify customers and product portfolios to guard against uncertainties created by the U.S.-China trade war, which has seen tariffs imposed on certain technologies and companies including Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. banned from doing business in the U.S.

Net income attributable to shareholders of the parent company was NT$101.07 billion in the reporting quarter, or NT$3.90 per share, 13.5% up from last year's NT$89.07 billion, or NT$3.44 per share. The S&P Global Market Intelligence earnings per share consensus for the third quarter was NT$3.70 on a GAAP basis.

TSMC expects smartphones, especially 5G smartphones, to be the main stimulus for revenue growth next year, because the silicon content on smartphone chips is becoming increasingly complicated, executives said.

Revenue from smartphones accounted for 49% of the total in the third quarter, while high-performance computing products accounted for 29%.

The chipmaker is investing in 5-nanometer chip manufacturing technology more aggressively as it works with customers to meet demand, executives said. The deployment of 5G is much faster than 4G, which also requires increased investment in related products. "Now we are increasing the capex quite a lot, no doubt about it," CEO C.C. Wei said.

TSMC expects to earn US$10.2 billion to US$10.3 billion in total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019, assuming an exchange rate of US$1 to NT$30.6, according to an Oct. 17 press release.

As of Oct. 16, US$1 was equivalent to NT$30.65.