Most companies saw dismal results in the 1Q of ’09. April however has seens a few rises. Both TSMC, and UMC saw increased sales, partly due to the Chinese stimulus package, and likely due in part to the release of the Kindle 2. Is it economic downturn over? Not likely, but at least there has been some shining lights amongst it.
As I am sure everyone has seen, the semiconductor industry is far from immune to the current economic recession (dare I say depression. Analysts are now saying the 2009 chip market will falls from 20-30%, and suppliers (wafers, imaging, scanners, mask sets etc) will be down over 40%.
The chip market will likely rebound some in 2010, but mainly correcting from overcautios cuts this year (we hope). The interesting part is the difference in cuts from chip makers, to their equipment suppliers. What this typically means is that semiconductor companies expect to continue using their existing equipment, ie no process improvements/shrinks any time soon. This helps avoid large capital costs, while preserving some revenue stream.
In other news, there will be A LOT of excess fab space this year.