Taiwan Semiconductor's Profit Plunges 63.9% in Q4

First quarterly loss since 1990

As the global economic slump hit demand for microchips, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. on Jan. 22 announced its net profit in the fourth quarter plunged 63.9%. TSMC, the world's leading contract microchip maker, is also expected to post its first quarterly loss since 1990.

The company said its net profit in the three months to December fell to 12.45 billion Taiwan dollars (US$371 million), down from 34.49 billion Taiwan dollars a year earlier. Fourth quarter revenue fell sharply to 64.56 billion Taiwan dollars, down 31.2% from 93.86 billion a year earlier.

"The global economic recession continues to worsen. Fourth quarter end-market sell-through was much below the already conservative expectations, and consumer demand remains weak," said Lora Ho, the company's chief financial officer. She added that the company's operating margin would likely be negative 15% to 19% in the first quarter from positive 18.6% in the previous three months.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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