The world’s largest independent semiconductor manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reported record sales during March 2018. TSMC’s president has attributed the company’s performance in part to demand for the hardware required to mine cryptocurrencies.
World’s Largest Semiconductor Manufacturer Reports Record Sales
During a recent shareholder conference call, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing company announced revenues of 248 billion TWD (approximately $8.46 billion USD) during the first quarter of 2018 – a 6.1 percent year-on-year increase.
The company also recently revealed that March comprised the best performing month in TMSC’s history, with the company reporting approximately $3.5 billion USD in revenue in March alone. TMSC’s March profits comprised roughly 41 percent of the company’s earnings during Q1 2018.
Cryptocurrency Mining Drives Demand for TSMC Chips
C.C. Wei, the TSMC’s president and co-chief executive officer (CEO), has described cryptocurrency mining as a notable driver of demand for TSMC’s products, stating that “These results were mainly driven by strong demand from high-performance computing such as cryptocurrency mining.”
Mark Liu, TSMC’s other co-CEO, expressed the company’s expectation that demand from the cryptocurrency mining industry will continue to be strong throughout 2018, despite anticipating reduced sales for its 28mm chip. “We see very strong demand in the first quarter from cryptocurrencies. During the second quarter, while we do see some weakness in the 28mm chip, the [demand for] the rest of the technology is still very strong on cryptocurrency,” said Mr. Liu.
Despite the impressive performance during March, overall, TSMC performed slightly below expectations during the first quarter of 2018, with the company’s earnings per share of 59 U.S cents falling just one cent below consensus estimates.
TSMC Stock Prices Fall Amid Decreasing Smartphone Demand
Despite the record performance in March, TSMC shares have experienced a slump in recent days, as waning demand for smartphones prompted the company to adjust its end of year revenue prediction. TSMC now anticipates growth of 10 percent during 2018, down from its previous prediction of 15 percent.
Medhi Hosseini, an analyst for Susquehanna Financial Group, has stated : “We are lowering our estimates for [TSMC] to account for a steeper-than-expected inventory digestion by premium smartphone customers, particularly Apple.”