STMicro upbeat on smartphone demand in second half

PARIS • STMicroelectronics yesterday delivered an upbeat assessment on second-half demand for its smartphone-focused products, brushing off investor anxiety over the soft take-off of Apple's iPhone X.

The chipmaker said sales should grow in the first half, offsetting a seasonal smartphone dip in the first three months of the year. Its forecasts come as concerns about a potential stagnation of smartphone demand intensified after South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix warned on Tuesday of slower growth in smartphone chip sales.

Analysts say Apple represents about 10 per cent of STMicro's revenues. The group is said to make imaging and proximity sensor products used in the iPhone X. It declines to identify its customer.

Chief executive Carlo Bozotti said in a statement yesterday: "For the second half of the year, we see healthy demand, with a strong backlog across all our product groups, end markets, including smartphones."

First-quarter results were in line with market expectations.

The group's quarterly net revenues rose 22 per cent to US$2.23 billion (S$2.96 billion) from a year ago, but fell from the last quarter of 2017 due to a seasonal smartphone dip. Gross margin rose to 39.9 per cent from 37.7 per cent. Second-quarter revenues are expected to rise by about 1.5 per cent from the previous quarter. The mid-point target for gross margin is 40 per cent for the second quarter.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2018, with the headline 'STMicro upbeat on smartphone demand in second half'. Print Edition | Subscribe