Chip Manufacturer Cuts Revenue Forecast Due to Weak Demand for Crypto Miners, Again

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), a leading producer of microchips, has decreased its annual revenue and capital expenditure estimates following growth rate reduction in the smartphone and cryptocurrency mining fields, Business Times reported July 19. TSMC produces chips for tech giants like Nvidia Corp., Apple Inc., and Qualcomm Inc.

TSMC cut its revenue growth forecast for 2018 to “a high single digit percent” from ten percent, and lowered its expected capital expenses volume to $10-10.5 billion from $11.5-12 billion. According to analysts, the company could face slowing demand for high-end chips used in crypto mining, as miners choose lower-powered chips due to price volatility and stricter regulations in the industry.

During the April and June quarter, TSMC registered a 9 percent increase in net profit from the previous year to $2.3 billion. Sales to the personal computer industry were 21 percent of totaled revenue, 12 percent up compared to the previous year. Revenue reportedly rose 11 percent and reached $7.85 billion, which is in line with the company’s forecast made in April.

TSMC’s chief financial officer Lora Ho reportedly said that the company anticipates to “benefit from new product launches, while cryptocurrency mining demand will decrease from the second quarter.”

TMSC previously lowered its revenue forecast in April from a growth rate of 15 percent to 10 percent. The company announced that first quarter demand from cryptocurrency mining was strong and could continue in the second quarter, but the company anticipated potentially weaker demand in the 28-nanometer product line used for crypto mining hardware.

Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that the price of specialized graphics processing units (GPUs) has been declining along with sinking prices in digital currency markets. While at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 cryptocurrency mining caused a sharp rise in the price of high-end graphics cards, the tendency seems to have reversed as crypto markets sloped downward.

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