TSMC's profit dips after the release of Apple's new iPhones

TAIPEI: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the sole supplier of iPhone processors, posted a slight decline in profit as it grapples with a stalling global smartphone market.

Net income fell to NT$89.1 billion ($2.9 billion) in the three months ended September, the Hsinchu, Taiwan-based company said Thursday. That compares with the NT$88.75 billion average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Previously reported sales for the September quarter were NT$260.3 billion.

While TSMC remains the exclusive maker of Apple Inc.’s iPhone processors, shoring up its biggest customer, it’s coming up against a global smartphone market that is seeing little growth. The world’s biggest contract maker of chips is also feeling the impact of volatility in digital currencies that is hurting demand for semiconductors used to mine Bitcoin and others.

“The street remains overly bullish on TSMC’s outlook for the near term as the street’s forecasts may have yet to capture the weakness in demand” for chips using older technologies, Stefan Chang, an analyst at Maybank Kim Eng, wrote in an Oct. 8 note.

Shares of TSMC were little changed before the earnings were released. The stock has risen 3 percent this year. - Bloomberg

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