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Taiwan IC assemblers, silicon foundry see gains in May

Posted: 09 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:sales? semiconductor? UMC? United Microelectronics Corp.? ASE?

Taiwan's IC assemblers and a silicon foundry provider Wednesday (June 7) separately reported a slight jump in sales for May amid mixed signals in the overall semiconductor industry.

Silicon foundry specialist United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) posted sales of $263.8 million in May, up 31.5 percent from the like period a year ago and up 0.48 percent from the previous month.

UMC reported revenue of $1.28 billion for the period from January to May, up 24.9 percent over last year.

According to a report from the China Post, JPMorgan said UMC's May revenue was slightly below expectations. The company was supposed to report $273.6 million in sales for the period, according to the report.

On the backend, Taiwan's Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), the world's largest chip-packaging and test house, reported sales of $270.5 million in May, up 51.9 percent from the like period a year ago and up 0.8 percent sequentially.

Independent chip-testing house ASE Test Ltd, an affiliate of ASE, reported net revenues of $48.1 million for May. Compared to prior periods, the May figure represents an increase of 1.6 percent sequentially and an increase of 54.3 percent year-over-year, according to ASE Test.

Strong IC demand in the consumer electronics sector will likely cause continued high pricesand supply constraintsin the high-end, chip-packaging markets, according to industry executives and analysts.

There are other concerns in the market. While most analysts are raising their semiconductor forecasts for 2006, one investment banking firm is bucking the trend and lowering its prediction amid a sudden slowdown in IC shipments.

In a report issued last Friday (June 2), Wedbush Morgan Securities Inc. lowered its 2006 semiconductor growth forecast from 11 percent to 10 percent. For 2007, Wedbush projects that the IC market will slow and grow by only 6 percent over 2006.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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