TSMC’s Q1 revenue rise beats market expectations on AI boom

TSMC’s Q1 revenue rise beats market expectations on AI boom

TAIPEI (Reuters) -Taiwan chipmaker TSMC reported a 16.5% rise in first-quarter revenue on Wednesday, beating market expectations and at the high end of the company’s own guidance as its sales boom on demand for artificial intelligence applications.

The world’s largest contract chipmaker, whose customers include Apple and Nvidia, has benefited from a surge towards AI that has helped it weather the tapering off of pandemic-led demand and pushed TSMC’s stock to a record high.

Revenue in the first three months of this year came in at T$592.64 billion ($18.54 billion), up from $16.72 billion in the year-ago period.

That was towards the higher end of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC) previous prediction for first-quarter revenue to range between $18 billion and $18.8 billion.

The result beat an LSEG SmartEstimate of T$581.45 billion drawn from 23 analysts, weighted toward those who are more consistently accurate.

The first half of the year is traditionally quieter for Taiwanese tech firms, coming after the end-of-year holiday rush for goods like tablets and smartphones in major Western markets, but the AI trend is boosting demand even in the off season.

For March alone, TSMC reported revenue rose 34.3% year-on-year to T$195.21 billion and was up 7.5% from the previous month.

TSMC, Asia’s most valuable publicly listed company with a market capitalisation of $662 billion, did not provide any details or forward guidance in its brief revenue statement.

It is scheduled to report first quarter earnings on April 18, where it will also update its outlook for the current quarter and the year.

TSMC is expected to report a 4% rise in first quarter net profit, according to an LSEG SmartEstimate.

TSMC’s Taipei-listed shares closed down 0.5% on Wednesday ahead of the release of the sales data. The broader market ended down 0.2%.

The chipmaker’s shares have surged 37% so far this year, compared with a 16% gain for the broader market.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Faith Hung; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jamie Freed)