A woman walks past a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) logo at the Hsinchu Science Park in Hsinchu on July 5, 2023. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP) (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

Sam Yeh | Afp | Getty Images

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest chipmaker, posted a second-quarter profit plunge Thursday as demand for consumer electronics continues to slump.

Here are TSMC’s second quarter results versus Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Revenue: 480.84 billion New Taiwan dollars ($15.68 billion), vs. NT$478.83 billion expected
  • Net income: NT$181.8 billion, vs. NT$172.55 billion expected

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TSMC reported revenue slipped 10% from a year ago to NT$480.84 billion, while net income fell 23.3% from a year ago to NT$181.8 billion. The company had previously forecast second-quarter revenue between $15.2 billion and $16 billion.

TSMC said business was impacted by macroeconomic headwinds “which dampened the end market demand, and led to customers’ ongoing inventory adjustment.”

This is the company’s first quarterly net income decline since the second quarter of 2019.

Recovery underway?

TSMC is the top producer of the world’s most advanced processors, including the chips found in the latest iPhones, iPads and Macs. But demand for consumer electronics has plunged post-pandemic.

Global demand for laptops and smartphones spiked during Covid-19 lockdowns, spurring smartphone and PC makers to stockpile chips. Now those companies are grappling with excess inventories as consumers cut back on purchases of these goods due to rising inflation. This has led to a fall in prices for chips.

In May, TSMC’s largest customer Apple reported overall sales fell for the second quarter in a row.

The global smartphone market plummeted 11% in the second quarter compared with a year ago, according to a report published Tuesday by data insights provider Canalys.

But Canalys said there are signs pointing to a recovery in the smartphone market.

“The smartphone market is sending early signals of recovery after six consecutive quarters of decline since 2022,” said Le Xuan Chiew, analyst at Canalys. “Smartphone inventory has begun to clear up as smartphone vendors prioritized cutting inventory of old models to make room for new launches.”

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