TSMC's first quarter profit rises 9%, beats forecasts


A smartphone with a displayed TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken March 6, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

TAIPEI: Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC posted a 9% rise in first-quarter net profit on Thursday that beat market expectations as it rides a wave of demand for semiconductors used in artificial intelligence applications.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple Inc and Nvidia supplier, has benefited from a surge towards AI that has helped it weather the tapering off of pandemic-led electronics demand and pushed TSMC's stock to a record high.

TSMC saw January-March net profit rise to T$225.5 billion ($6.98 billion) from T$206.9 billion a year earlier.

The profit beat a T$218.1 billion LSEG SmartEstimate, which is weighted toward forecasts from analysts who are more consistently accurate.

TSMC, Asia's most valuable listed company, said first-quarter revenue rose 13% year-on-year to $18.87 billion, better than the company's previous forecast of $18 billion to $18.8 billion. The company last week announced first quarter revenue in Taiwan dollars, coming in at T$592.64 billion.

Capital expenditure in the first quarter was $5.77 billion, TSMC said, compared with $5.24 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023.

TSMC's Taipei-listed shares have surged 36% so far this year. The stock was flat on Thursday ahead of the results versus a 0.4% gain for the benchmark index.

The company will provide updates on its outlook for the current quarter and the rest of the year on an earnings call starting at 0600 GMT, including capital expenditure which it has previously guided as being in the range of $28 billion to $32 billion this year, compared with last year's $30.45 billion.

On Wednesday, ASML, the largest supplier of equipment to computer chip makers like TSMC, reported weaker than expected first-quarter new bookings, though sales to China held up despite U.S.-led restrictions. - Reuters

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