Taipei--Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), the world's largest contract chip maker, on Friday reported consolidated sales of NT$71.42 billion (US$2.30 billion) for February, its lowest monthly figure in 10 months.
The company said the NT$71.42 billion represented a 6.8 percent monthly drop but was 19.9 percent higher than a year earlier.
The February figure was the lowest level since April 2016, when TSMC reported sales of NT$66.84 billion, the company's statistics showed.
In the first two months of this year, TSMC's consolidated sales totaled NT$148.04 billion, up 13.5 percent from a year earlier, the chip maker said.
At an investor conference in January, TSMC forecast an 8.8-10 percent quarterly drop in its first-quarter consolidated sales to between NT$236 billion and NT$239 billion, citing the effects of the slow season.
For the month of March, when number of business days returned to normal, TSMC sales are estimated to rise to NT$88 billion, which would help meet its first-quarter forecast, analysts said.
The reduced number of business days in January and February resulted from a six-day Lunar New Year holiday that started on Jan. 27.
However, TSMC said it expects the first-quarter inventory adjustments in the IC design sector to continue into the second quarter as inventories remain high in the global IC design business.
As a result, demand in the pure wafer operations industry is likely to decline further in the next quarter, which will cause TSMC's post consolidated sales for the April-June period to drop from the first quarter, the company said.
It said its sales momentum is expected to pick up in the second half of the year and record a 5-10 percent annual growth for the whole of 2017, beating the forecast 4-5 percent average growth of the global semiconductor industry.
In 2016, TSMC, which holds more than a 50 percent share of the global wafer market, posted NT$947.94 billion in consolidated sales and a net income of NT$334.25 billion, both the highest in the company's history.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel