TSMC Rises After Quarterly Sales Forecast Beats Estimates

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chipmaker, climbed the most in two weeks in Taipei trading after forecasting first-quarter sales that beat analyst estimates.

TSMC gained as much as 2.2 percent to NT$101.50, the most since Jan. 2, before trading at NT$101 as of 9:39 a.m. in Taipei. Its depository receipts climbed 2.6 percent in New York yesterday. The benchmark Taiex index added 0.8 percent.

First-quarter revenue will be NT$127 billion ($4.4 billion) to NT$129 billion, higher than estimates for NT$124 billion, the Hsinchu-based company said yesterday. Superior technology and continued growth in mobile devices is driving demand for the company’s manufacturing capacity, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Morris Chang told investors yesterday.

“TSMC is using better pricing, outgrowth and better cost controls to maintain margins and offset rising tax,” Randy Abrams, who rates the stock outperform at Credit Suisse Group AG in Taipei wrote in a report. “Strong technology mix continues to improve ASPs, a rare trend in tech.”

Revenue in the made-to-order chip foundry industry will climb 7 percent this year, with TSMC’s own sales to outpace that figure, Chang said yesterday. Capital expenditure will be around $9 billion, surpassing last year’s record $8.3 billion, he said.

Twenty of 32 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg recommend buying TSMC stock, while 11 have a hold rating and one rate it as a sell.

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