TSMC now expects to spend between $10 billion and $10.5 billion on capital expenditure, down from the $11.5 billion to $12 billion range given at the beginning of 2018 (see Morris Chang gives TSMC's outlook for 2018, says goodbye ).
TSMC CFO Lora Ho, speaking to financial analysts on a teleconference, said that part of the reduction was allowed for by $600 million in manufacturing efficiency gains thus a reduced need for tools and about $200 million comes from the U.S. dollar appreciation against the euro and Japanese yen.
For the full year of 2018 TSMC is forecasting that the overall semiconductor market, excluding memory, will grow by 5 percent, the lower end of a range given in January 2018, while foundry is expected to grow at about 7 percent versus the 9 to 10 percent given in January.
CC Wei, TSMC's CEO, said: "We forecast TSMC’s 2018 revenue in U.S. dollar will grow by a high single-digit rate rather than the previously stated about 10 percent due to general weakness in cryptocurrency mining demand." Morris Chang had said in January that TSMC would rgrow at between 10 and 15 percent.
In the third quarter Wei expects TSMC to benefit from products based on TSMC's 7nm process technology, while cryptocurrency mining demand will decline due to weakening cryptocurrency prices. "That being said, we do see slight improvement in smartphone demand in second half of this year as compared to our forecast three months ago."
Longer term growth will be driven by the adoption of artificial intelligence both in the data center and very rapidly towards the edge of the network and by 5G, Wei said.
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