The semiconductor industry bellwether, TSMC, was spot on in its pre-earthquake forecast of -3% to -5% measured in NT$. The company came in at – 4.3%.
But clearly the company’s expectation is for an easing in capacity and prices.
TSMC says its 49% margin of Q1 is expected to slip to 45.5% to 47.5% in Q2.
TSMC reports that Q1 wafer sales to the communication, computer, consumer and industrial segments decreased 3%, 9%, 6%, and 8%, respectively, from 4Q10.
Some people expect TSMC’s wafer starts could be down 5% Q2 on Q1, though TSMC is expecting a rise in Q2 revenues from the $3.6 billion of Q1 to between $3.8-$3.87 billion in Q2.
The speculation is that Q2 capacity utilisation will drop to 85-90%.
And there is also speculation that TSMC’s projected capex may be trimmed from $7.8 billion to between $6 billion and $6.5 billion with a reduction of the target for additional 300mm wafer capacity this year being cut from an a 61K wafers to 43K wafers.
TSMC will no doubt be constantly casting the runes as new portents emerge and continually adjusting all these figures.
With the earthquake’s impact still unknown, anyone who gets 2011 right deserves a medal.