TSMC forecasts easing of auto chip shortage as quarterly sales surges

Taiwan’s TSMC posted record quarterly sales and forecast revenue for the current quarter will jump by at least a fifth, boosted by a pandemic-led surge in global demand for semiconductors that power smartphones, laptops and cars.

Revenue for April-June at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, the world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple Inc supplier, climbed 28% to a record $13.29 billion.

For the quarter ending in September, TSMC forecast revenue of $14.6 billion to $14.9 billion, compared with $12.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.

TSMC’s business has been supported by a global chip shortage that has forced automakers to cut production and hurt manufacturers of smartphones, laptops and even appliances during the pandemic.

On Thursday, TSMC said on an analyst call that the auto chip shortage will gradually reduce for its customers from this quarter but expects overall semiconductor capacity tightness to extend possibly into next year.

The Taiwanese firm, which also makes chips for Qualcomm Inc, had previously flagged a $100 billion expansion plan over the next three years, as fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) technology and artificial intelligence applications drive global demand for advanced chips.

Analysts are bullish about TSMC’s business in the coming quarters, citing strong demand for the company’s most advanced 5 nanometer node technology as well as its upcoming 3 nanometer node, which is scheduled to enter trial production later this year.

For the second quarter, TSMC said profit rose 11% to T$134.4 billion ($4.81 billion) from a year earlier, just short of an average estimate of T$136.5 billion, drawn from 19 analysts by Refinitiv.

Shares of TSMC, the eleventh most valuable listed company in the world, have gained about 16% so far this year, giving it a market value of $567 billion, more than double that of chipmaker Intel Corp.

TSMC’s stock closed up 0.16% on Thursday, compared with a 1.1% gain for the benchmark index.