Stats ChipPac stems red ink as Q4 performed better than expected

Employees at the production line at STATS ChipPAC, a mainboard-listed semiconductor chip packaging and testing firm. The semiconductor tester returned to the black in the fourth quarter, with a net profit of US$3.5 million (S$4.7 million), reversing
Employees at the production line at STATS ChipPAC, a mainboard-listed semiconductor chip packaging and testing firm. The semiconductor tester returned to the black in the fourth quarter, with a net profit of US$3.5 million (S$4.7 million), reversing from a loss of US$12.1 million in the same period last year. -- ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN

SINGAPORE - Semiconductor tester Stats ChipPac returned to the black in the fourth quarter, with a net profit of US$3.5 million (S$4.7 million), reversing from a loss of US$12.1 million in the same period last year.

Revenue for the three months to Dec 28 grew by 3 per cent to US$406.7 million.

"Fourth quarter came in better than our earlier guidance due to higher wireless communications revenue driven by new high-end smartphone ramps and stronger than seasonal demand in China lower tier smartphones," said Stats ChipPac president and chief executive Tan Lay Koon.

Gross profit improved due to higher revenue and product mix change.

Chief financial officer Dennis Chia said: "Gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2014 was higher at 12.1 per cent compared to 11.8 per cent in the prior quarter due to higher revenue and favorable mix change in the wireless communications business."

For the full year, net loss shrank to US$21.8 million from US$47.5 million while revenue was nearly flat at US$1.59 billion.