TSMC beats first-quarter revenue and profit expectations on strong AI chip demand – CNBC

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  • TSMC beats revenue and profit expectations in the first quarter on strong AI chip demand.
  • TSMC is the world’s largest producer of advanced processors and counts companies such as Nvidia and Apple as its clients.
  • A strong demand for AI chips is being led by the proliferation of large language models such as ChatGPT and Chinese clones.
A logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is seen during the TSMC global RnD Center opening ceremony in Hsinchu on July 28, 2023. (Photo by Amber Wang / AFP)
Amber Wang | Afp | Getty Images

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company on Thursday beat revenue and profit expectations in the first quarter, thanks to continued strong demand for advanced chips, particularly those used in AI applications.

Here are TSMC’s first-quarter results versus LSEG consensus estimates:

  • Net revenue: 592.64 billion New Taiwan dollars ($18.87 billion), vs. NT$582.94 billion expected
  • Net income: NT$225.49 billion, vs. NT$213.59 billion expected

TSMC reported net revenue rose 16.5% from a year ago to NT$592.64 billion, while net income increased 8.9% from a year ago to NT$225.49 billion. The firm guided first-quarter revenue to be between $18 billion and $18.8 billion.

TSMC is the world’s largest producer of advanced processors and counts companies such as Nvidia and Apple as its clients.

“TSMC is well-positioned for strong performance based on key industry trends. The continued demand for advanced chips, particularly those used in AI applications, is a positive sign for both the short and long term. The focus on advanced chip development, like the shift towards 3nm technology, is another factor driving long-term growth for TSMC,” Brady Wang, associate director at Counterpoint Research, said on Monday ahead of the results.

TSMC currently produces 3-nanometer chips and plans to commence mass production of 2-nanometer chips in 2025. Typically, a smaller nanometer size yields more powerful and efficient chips. 

Strong demand for AI chips led by the proliferation of large language models such as ChatGPT and Chinese clones has caused TSMC’s shares to surge 56% in the past one year.

TSMC accounted for 61% of global foundry revenue in the fourth quarter, according to Counterpoint Research data. Samsung Foundry came in second with 14% of the market.

“TSMC’s net profit margin continues to be one of the highest in the company’s history at 40%, against an industry average of 14%, demonstrating TSMC’s strong competitive position. The high margin is the result of an increased share of sales of 7nm and smaller chips, which have significantly higher margins,” Grzegorz Drozdz, market analyst at Conotoxia, said last week.

The U.S. also recently granted TSMC’s Arizona subsidiary preliminary approval for government funding worth up to $6.6 billion to build the world’s most advanced semiconductors. TSMC is also eligible for about $5 billion in proposed loans.

Earlier this month, Taiwan was hit by an earthquake – its strongest one in 25 years. A TSMC spokesperson said its construction sites were normal upon initial inspection, though workers from some fabs were briefly evacuated. Those workers subsequently returned to their workplaces.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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