The semiconductor is in a mess now. The market is not growing except China. With so many companies (new or old) expanding, the price war is going to hurt everyone hard.
- TSM is probably still the best. Realizing market won't grow and the company has so much cash. decision for paying dividend from future earning is an realistic approach which is good for the shareholders.
- UMC is losing competition to TSM on high end and SMI on low end. That's why they came up with the strategy for setting up 'He Jian' in China. Using tricks to bribe government in China and cheat government in Taiwan will eventually back fire.
- SMI is growing but has a cash problem. With TSM & UMC squeezing them from high end and others (including He Jian) from the low end, SMI has to make sure that they can survuve first.
The Chinese government is the key to the current situation. All levels of government try to attact the capital investment, for the prosperity of the country, province and perhaps more importantly for their own pockets, there could be a nasty dog fight for all those companies in the near future.
All these stocks have high risk. Again, high risk-high return is the name of the game in the semi industry.