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Author Topic: Weak semiconductor outlook  (Read 1261 times)

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Weak semiconductor outlook
« on: December 28, 2011, 02:50:22 AM »
[Stock quote not displayed : No stock code provided or invalid stock code]

Despite signs of better US economy, industry is unlikely to recover until H2 2012

PETALING JAYA: The near-term outlook for semiconductor sector is weak despite recent signs of improvement in the US economy, according to research analysts.
Demand for the sector was unlikely to recover until the second half of 2012, said CIMB Research. The research house has maintained its “underweight” rating on the sector,  citing uncertain demand recovery, concerns over consumer spending, deteriorating external environment and the current investor aversion to cyclicals.
“The first half of 2012 will be exceedingly weak for the sector due to a fragile global economic recovery and seasonal factors.” RHB Research Institute noted that uncertainty in the global economy continued to affect consumer and corporate spending. Although recent retail data from the United States suggested improving consumer
spending, RHB Research said it preferred to remain cautious until stronger demand indicators were seen.
Kenanga Research said it had a “neutral” rating on the technology sector, although it believed that there was a glimmer of hope for recovery.
“The industry has always been cyclical and the current upcycle has just started to show potential signs of recovery,” said Kenanga Research.
CIMB Research pointed out that recovery was also expected to be anaemic amidst a more competitive environment, as semiconductor foundries were starting to encroach upon the territory of packaging and assembly players by offering more assembly services.
“Also, some of the larger packaging and assembly companies are moving into the low-pin count and lower-end packages.”
CIMB Research said the financial numbers for semiconductor companies Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd (MPI) and Unisem (M) Bhd were not expected to improve in the near term.
“The realignment of shipments to demand is not expected to end until the second half of 2012. There is softness in the personal computer (PC) segment,” it noted.
Meanwhile, RHB Research said the near-term outlook remained bleak for MPI and Unisem.
Regarding MPI's propects, RHB Research said the company's key chip packages such as X3-MLP (micro leadframe) would benefit from demand for communication devices, which was likely to remain resilient due to growing adoption of smartphones.
“However, this will not be able to fully offset the deteriorating demand in the broader market as the company still relies heavily on the PC and consumer electronics segments.”
Kenanga Research also noted that MPI had recently declared a financial year (FY)2012 first interim dividend of 5 sen per share, which was lower than the historical 10 sen.
As for Unisem, RHB Research said the company's earnings outlook remained poor, given diminishing order visibility amidst the global economic uncertainty.
“The recent start of volume loading with a Tier-1 customer (Nasdaq-listed Broadcom Corp) has not been able to mitigate the weak orders from other customers.
“Also, we believe China's slowdown in economic growth could affect consumer spending in the region, and thus could impede the growth of Unisem's operations in Chengdu.”
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) has forecast global semiconductor sales this year to surpass the US$300bil (RM946.5bil) mark for the first time.
The organisation had forecast global semiconductor sales to grow 1.3% year-on-year to US$302bil (RM952.8bil) in 2011.
Last year, it grew 31.8% year-on-year to a record-breaking US$298.3bil (RM941bil), compared with US$226.3bil (RM714bil) in 2009.
WSTS is predicting a healthier 2.6% growth for 2012 and 5.8% growth for 2013.
CIMB Research reiterated its “underperform” calls on the stocks of Unisem and MPI, with target prices of 89 sen and RM2.55 respectively.
RHB Research Institute has maintained its “underperform” calls on Unisem and MPI, with fair values of 92 sen and RM2.10 respectively based on 0.6 times forward price-to-book value.
Kenanga Research has a “market perform” call on MPI, and a target price of RM2.80 based on targeted FY13-end price-over-net tangible asset per share of 0.7 times.
Last Friday, Unisem shares remained unchanged at RM1.03 while MPI closed 4 sen higher to RM2.69.


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Re: Weak semiconductor outlook
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 12:03:38 PM »
Thanks for the sharing.



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