Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing shares rallied Wednesday, after reports surfaced that the company planned to increase its prices for the chips it fabricates.
American depositary receipts of Taiwan Semi ( ticker: TSM) advanced 5.2% to $118 in Wednesday afternoon trading.
Taiwan Semi will raise prices for the most advanced chips it produces by 10% in 2022, and raise the price of the older chips it makes by 15% to 20%, according to several reports . The higher prices take effect in the first quarter of next year, as a global chip shortage has crippled the production of consumer goods ranging from vehicles to home appliances.
Typically, the chip manufacturer lowers prices each year, reflecting the increased efficiency of its manufacturing technology. This year Taiwan Semi kept its pricing for advanced chips the same, which is the equivalent of a price increase, according to a person familiar with the company’s business practices.
The company raising its prices appears as an about-face, after executives said on its recent earnings call that its prices aren’t a reflection of booming chip demand.
Taiwan Semi didn’t return a request for comment, and Barron’s was unable to immediately verify the price increase.
Separately, Needham analyst Charles Shi wrote in a research note that a 10% increase in Taiwan Semi’s prices could raise the company’s revenue growth rate by roughly 5%. That level of price increase would also add 1 percentage point to the company’s 2022 gross margins. Analysts forecast Taiwan Semi revenue to grow 18% to $56.4 billion this year, and 17% to $65.8 billion in 2022.
Shi said that several second tier foundries have raised prices already, which provides Taiwan Semi an excuse to charge more.
Amid surging demand for semiconductors around the world, Taiwan Semi has announced $30 billion in capital spending for this year, and $100 billion over the next three years . Part of that spending plan includes a plant in Arizona that is under construction .
Shi reiterated his target price of NT$680 ($138) and his Buy rating. Thirty-three analysts rate Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing stock a Buy, and three have a Hold rating on the name. It doesn’t have any Sell ratings.
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