Taiwan-based IC packaging/testing service provider ChipMOS Technologies plans to set aside NT$2.2-2.5 billion (US$75.5-85.8 million) for its 2013 capex budget and use 50% of the amount to expand small-size LCD driver IC testing capacity, according to the company.
Since an increasing proportion of small-size LCD driver ICs are SoC (system on a chip) which take 2-3 times longer to test than simple driver ICs, ChipMOS will focus 2013 capex on expanding small-size LCD driver IC testing capacity, the company explained. Of the 2013 budget, 10% will be used to add gold bumping packaging/testing equipment, 20% to add specialty DRAM and NOR flash testing equipment, and 20% to add MEMS, wafer-level packaging and flip-chip packaging equipment, ChipMOS pointed out.
For LCD driver IC packaging/testing, ChipMOS currently utilizes 80-83% of its gold bumping and COG (chip on glass) capacity and 78-80% of COF (chip on film) capacity, the company indicated. ChipMOS currently has a monthly gold bumping capacity of 16,000 12-inch wafers and 100,000 8-inch wafers, the company noted.
ChipMOS expects total orders for gold bumping packaging/testing services in 2013 to increase 20-25%, COG by 15-20% and COF by 10-15%, the company noted.
ChipMOS expects its revenues for the fourth quarter of 2012 to grow on quarter by up to 5% and those for the first quarter of 2013 to slip sequentially by 5-10%.
The capex number is interesting because at around $80M that's significantly below the $100M or so I'd previously expected. The composition is no great surprise. The MEMS equipment is for the AKM business that will start in the first/second quarter.
That's some solid growth expected for bumping as well as COG and COF. They should all reach high utilization, especially the gold bumping as the growth is high while the capex is quite low.
Finally, the article claims that Q4 will be up to +5% revenue which doesn't sound right. Unless December is amazing it really seems like it should be down.
JW, December can't be right especially since Q1 will be down so much. SK told me the low end of their guided range (0 to -5%). Maybe they mean YOY. Q1 looks quite weak but I think it will be the trough. If Q1 comes in at $147M, for example, and the company (at this time) expects 5% YOY growth, then the rest of the year would be around $533M in sales, I think. That's a big adjustment to capex and underscores management's discipline to keeping it in line with business activity. (note: CH had them coming in at 93.8M).
Dave and Jaret, I too think it is a mistake but so what. The bigger news is the reduction in capx which would be an additional 50 cents in FCF. SK confirmed to me that FCF will be an important part of the valuation for the listing along with other metrics.