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Chinese chipmaker SMIC posts revenue growth, but stock plunges

Written by Wency Chen Published on     2 mins read

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Operational continuity is not significantly adversely affected by the US restrictions, the company says.

China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) raked in USD 981.1 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020, representing a 9.4% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) drop and a 16.9% year-over-year (YoY) growth, the company announced on Thursday. Its Hong Kong-listed stock, however, reacted with an almost 8% decline on Friday.

In the reported quarter, the gross profit of SMIC (HKEX:0981; SSE: 688981) fell slightly by 11.3% YoY to USD 176.8 million with a gross margin of 18%. Mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 56.1% of all sales, followed by North America. The capacity utilization stood at 95% in the fourth quarter, while SMIC’s monthly production capacity rose to 520,750 8-inch equivalent wafers due to the capacity expansion in its Beijing 300mm fabrication plant.

“At present, the foundry industry capacity is tight, the demand for non-FinFET processes remains strong, and our capacity for non-FinFET will continue to be fully loaded,” said the co-CEOs Zhao Haijun and Liang Mongsong in the report. In 2020, the company increased monthly non-FinFET capacity by 10,000 for the 12-inch, and to not less than 45,000 for the 8-inch.

Following the report, SMIC’s stock fell by 7.69% to HKD 25.2 (USD 3.25), while its Shanghai-listed shares dropped 3.95% to RMB 52.5 (USD 8.11).

Amid US-China tensions, SMIC was in December added to the “Entity List” by the US Commerce Department, restricting the chipmaker’s access to American technology and equipment. The company said on the earnings call on Friday that “despite having concerns, our customers have been standing with SMIC.” The firm also underwent a leadership adjustment. Co-CEO Liang Mongsong said he would depart after Chiang Shang-yi, former COO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC), joined the company as a vice-chairman.

For the year ahead, SMIC projects a half-year sale target of USD 2.1 billion and expects the gross margin in a range of 17% to 19%.

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