Dodgy Old Q4
The noises coming out of reporting CEOs recently have not been optimistic. Some have taken this to mean that the 30% + surge in the semi market this year is to be followed by hard times. But it would be premature to draw such a conclusion.
TI said demand softened in Q3 and will continue to soften in Q4, principally from TV and computer customers, with TI expecting Q4 revenue to fall to between to $3.36 billion to $3.64 billion from $3.74 billion in Q3. TI cites ‘seasonal patterns, continued soft demand in computing and consumer markets, and slowing growth in the industrial market’.
Hynix had a Q3 9% decline in DRAM ASP and a 23% decline in NAND ASP and expects a further ASP decline in Q4 of 20-25%.
UMC says its wafer output could fall by around 5% in Q4 compared to Q3 with fab utilisation falling to 90% in Q4 from 99% in Q3.
TSMC says Q4 revenues are expected to be between US$3.49 billion and US$3.56 billion after achieving US$3.6 billion in Q3.
Cypress expects a drop in revenues in Q4 attributed to a softening PC market.
Lattice expects a drop in revenue in Q4 of between 2 and 7%.
An exception to the trend is ST which expects Q4 growth of between 2% and 7% after Q3 growth of 5%.
The thing is Q4 is nearly always worse than Q3.
These CEOs may simply be managing expectations.