TSMC rallies on Q1 beat, solid guidance, UBS upgrade

|By:, SA News Editor

TSMC (TSM +2.8%) has guided for Q2 revenue of NT$180B-NT-$183B ($5.97B-$6.07B), well above a $5.61B consensus. Gross margin is expected to be in a range of 47.5%-49.5%, after coming in at 47.5% in Q1 (+170 bps Y/Y).

TSMC states strong mobile chip demand contributed to its Q1 beat, which follows a March guidance hike, and that it's also benefiting from inventory restocking and "better performance and higher yield and reliability" for advanced process nodes.

28nm wafers made up 34% of Q1 revenue, and 40/45nm wafers 21%.

UBS' William Dong has upgraded shares to Buy, and thinks strong demand for 4G smartphones (have higher chip content than 3G phones) is giving the foundry a lift. He expects 10%-12% Q/Q Q3 revenue growth as orders for Apple's A8 CPU ramp, and 3%-5% growth in Q4.

At the same time, Dong expects TSMC to see a more "balanced pricing environment" in 2015 as smaller foundry rivals such as Samsung try to take share.

Q1 results, PR