TSMC sees semiconductor bounce as Q1 revenues rise 16.5%

Early figures post a $18.44B haul for industry bellwether

Semiconductor giant TSMC looks to have rebounded from last year’s doldrums with revenue up 16.5 percent for the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2023.

Taiwan's chip manufacturing titan disclosed in its monthly revenue report for March that its total revenue earned since the start of the year amounted to NT$ 592.64 billion (about $18.44 billion).

This figure is up from the $16.72 billion it reported for the first quarter of 2023, and edges towards the higher end of its own expectations for this quarter of earnings between $18 and $18.8 billion.

Monthly revenue for March was NT$ 195.21 billion ($6.07 billion), an increase of 7.5 percent from February's figure and a massive jump of 34.3 percent compared March last year.

A full quarterly earnings report from the world's largest semiconductor contract manufacturer is expected later this month.

According to Reuters, TSMC's performance so far for January through March beat the expectations of market watchers, as this part of the year is typically quieter for Taiwanese tech firms, and this has helped push the company's stock price to a new high.

TSMC had a bad year last year, reporting its first revenue decline for four years due to global trading conditions. This led to demand for many semiconductor products to fall away due to rising inflation and other factors, and many of the company's customers chose to adjust their inventory instead of placing new orders.

But demand is starting to return, with expectations that demand for AI-capable PCs and datacenter kit will drive increased sales of high-end chips. As the chief chip manufacturer for GPU supremo Nvidia among others, TSMC should be well placed to benefit from any AI boost.

Global server revenue was up 12.7 percent in a recent Cloud and Datacenter Market Snapshot from analyst outfit Omdia, which named Nvidia as the chief beneficiary of this increased spending.

TSMC also got a boost this week from the announcement that the US government has signed a preliminary memorandum of terms for the company to receive $6.6 billion in CHIPS Act funding towards the semiconductor fabrication facilities the Taiwanese giant is building in Arizona.

The company also seems to have emerged largely unscathed from the earthquake that struck Taiwan last week, with water damage to equipment at several facilities, including its CoWoS (Chip-on-wafer-on-substrate) plant.

As reported, this may have a short-term impact on operations and perhaps require the purchase of new equipment, slightly increasing capital expenditures, but it isn't clear if the damage could have any other effect on TSMC's operations in future. ®

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