TSMC profit drops less than feared as chipmakers escape trough

TAIPEI – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s net income fell less than expected in another sign that a chip industry downturn may have bottomed out.

TSMC, the main chipmaker to Apple and Nvidia, reported net income for the fourth quarter of NT$238.7 billion (S$10.2 billion), beating the average analyst estimate of NT$224.1 billion.

The company got a boost from frenzied demand for Nvidia’s artificial intelligence chips in 2023, offsetting a global smartphone slump. Revenue in the holiday quarter was US$625.5 billion (S$841.5 billion), TSMC reported earlier, matching the previous holiday quarter and arresting a series of falls.

Signs of recovery for the chipmaking sector have emerged in recent weeks. The Semiconductor Industry Association estimated chip sales increased in November after more than a year of declines.

For TSMC, which counts Android chipmaker Qualcomm and Apple among its biggest customers, a robust consumer economy will help stabilise sales. Executives including chief executive officer C. C. Wei said they expect “healthy growth” this year. BLOOMBERG

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