|Bid||85.82 x 1200|
|Ask||85.83 x 900|
|Day's range||83.95 - 86.69|
|52-week range||58.00 - 96.17|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.64|
|PE ratio (TTM)||23.92|
|Earnings date||29 Jul 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.60 (3.09%)|
|Ex-dividend date||03 Jun 2020|
|1y target est||90.20|
Qualcomm (QCOM) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
After receiving a master's degree at the University of Michigan in 1994, Mollenkopf's older brother showed him a job ad for Qualcomm. After getting his foot in the door, he climbed the ladder to the top and led his team through difficult times, while still participating in the race to develop new tech.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Buried in a set of little-known data are early signs that the hardware side of the technology sector may be rebounding from the pandemic-driven plunge.Investors generally need to wait until a few weeks after a quarter closes to get a sense of how well (or badly) business has been, or hope that a company will provide an update when the situation changes. Except in Taiwan. A decades-old regulation requires companies there to report sales every month. This information isn’t useful only to investors in locally traded stocks. What’s listed is a broad range of companies that make chips, components, half-assembled modules and final products used in almost every electronics device in the world. The numbers can also provide a snapshot of output in China, where most Taiwanese technology manufacturers have the bulk of production.As early as January, it became obvious that the coronavirus would be a nightmare for tech companies. We now know that Apple Inc. posted a 7.2% drop in March-quarter sales of iPhones and iPads, while its major supplier, Foxconn Technology Group, suffered its biggest dive in revenue for seven years.More interesting is to see what’s been going on since. A look at April sales data from Taiwan enabled me to crunch numbers. What we find is a bounce in revenue that gives some hope for the global sector.Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. are the most famous names in this data set, because they’re the biggest in their category and have a VIP client list that includes Apple, Qualcomm Inc., Huawei Technologies Co. and Sony Corp. Yet hundreds of others, such as Pegatron Corp., Quanta Computer Inc. and Largan Precision Co., collectively supply most of the industry.By aggregating the data month by month, comparing to a year earlier to smooth out seasonality, and looking at the sub-sectors within tech — defined by the Taiwan Stock Exchange — such as components suppliers, chipmakers, or computer assemblers, we can get an understanding of what was happening just a few weeks ago.Computers and peripherals, which include major PC and server makers Quanta and Compal Electronics Inc., showed the largest rebound, from an 11.9% drop in the January to March period to a 7.9% rise in April. Electronics parts and components, such as circuit-board supplier Compeq Manufacturing Co., turned a mild decline into solid growth, from a 3.1% decline into a 9.1% increase. Other electronics, including Hon Hai, which not only assembles iPhones but servers and networking equipment, went from an 11.8% fall to flat. Chips, headlined by TSMC, remained incredibly strong. Optoelectronics, which is largely displays and camera modules, shows a prolonged decline.One of the key takeaways is the relative strength in corporate-focused hardware, and possible continued weakness in gadgets. Foxconn pointed to this earlier in May, when it told investors that its consumer-devices division, which encompasses iPhones, would fall at least 15%, while enterprise products would climb 10%.There are two important caveats to the data.The first is that they track just Taipei-listed companies, and not some big names like Huawei and Samsung Electronics Co., which also manufacture their own hardware. However, it’s a like-for-like comparison — those companies aren’t included in last year’s data, either — and the broad reach of Taiwan’s tech sector means that even Huawei and Samsung are likely part of its supply chain.A more important note is that this is just for one month. Some of that April uptick is simply catch-up production for time lost at the height of the pandemic. Yet clients wouldn’t place orders if they didn’t feel that there’s end-demand somewhere. Autos and textiles are cutting production and shuttering factories in the knowledge that such a pickup in sales isn’t likely. With global turmoil making companies reticent to give predictions, investors wait in the dark for an update or a quarterly conference call. Even if we don’t know whether this is a true rebound, or merely a dead-cat bounce, at least there’s more timely data available to examine.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares in Qualcomm Inc (NSQ:QCOM) are currently trading at 79.29 but the question for investors is how much the market chaos of 2020 will impact on its price....
The Qualcomm Inc (NSQ:QCOM) share price has risen by 2.60% over the past month and it’s currently trading at 79.29. For investors considering whether to buy, h...
Chinese tech giant Huawei, one of the world's leading manufacturers of telecom equipment, networking hardware, and smartphones, has been repeatedly slammed by the Trump administration's trade war against China. Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce placed Huawei on an "Entity List," a group of firms that American companies cannot offer their technologies to without a special license. Earlier this year, it expanded that licensing requirement to all non-U.S. chipmakers that use American chipmaking equipment, intellectual property, and design software.
Amid all the focus on COVID-19 and its effects on the broader markets, stocks like Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) seem like an afterthought. With online communication becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives, both Qualcomm and its 5G chipsets will likely become more critical in the near future. Work and social meetings that took place in person just a few months ago suddenly became dependent on offsite logins and conference sessions on Zoom Video Communications and comparable platforms.
(Bloomberg) -- Arm Ltd., whose technology is a key component of chips that run most of the world’s smartphones, is offering new designs aimed at boosting the performance of Android handsets.The U.K. company said its new A78 model will offer a 20% increase in performance over its predecessor and announced a new Cortex-X program that will help chipmakers customize their offerings to deliver bursts of as much as 30% more processing speed.Arm offers chip designs and licenses the fundamental code used by processors to communicate with software that runs phones. Most Android phone makers use chips from Qualcomm Inc. or Mediatek Inc. Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei Technologies Co. use those chipmakers’ components and their own products. Apple Inc. is an Arm licensee, but designs its own A series processors that are typically rated the speediest available.The customization that Apple has been able to bring to its own combinations of software and hardware has allowed it to claim performance leadership over phones that run Alphabet Inc.’s Google Android operating system. Such claims feature heavily in Apple’s marketing of the iPhone.“The pace of increasing performance in smartphones exceeds that of any other computing device category in the industry today,” Arm said in a statement. “To address this insatiable demand for the highest performance possible, we’re introducing a new engagement program called the Cortex-X Custom program to give our partners the option of having more flexibility and scalability for increasing performance.”Cortex X will let chip and phone makers add a different mix of cores to the combinations of components that run major smartphone functions. Current designs feature uniform sets of cores and more power-efficient ones that are used to maintain background functions without draining the battery. Arm’s new offering changes this approach. An X core might kick in for a short time, for example, when a piece of software is demanding the absolute maximum performance the chip can provide.Cambridge-based Arm is a division of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. Like other companies that rely on the smartphone market, Arm is looking for ways to help spur demand for the devices. The market already had stalled before the Covid-19 outbreak curbed sales and disrupted supply chains. In the first quarter of 2020, smartphone shipments dropped 12% from a year earlier, according to IDC.In addition to more powerful and efficient designs for the handsets, the smartphone industry is banking on faster fifth-generation, or 5G, networks to persuade consumers to upgrade their phones.Arm is also offering a new graphics chip design that will handle video and gaming content better, and updated machine-learning capabilities to help with artificial intelligence workloads.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. has begun building a cutting-edge chip production line intended to help it take on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in the business of making silicon for external clients.South Korea’s largest company said it’s started construction on a 5-nanometer fabrication facility in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, dedicated to its made-to-order foundry business, an arena TSMC dominates. Based on the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography or EUV process, Samsung expects the fab’s output to go toward applications from 5G networking to high-performance computing from the second half of 2021, it said in a statement.Samsung, the world’s largest maker of computer memory, smartphones and displays, in 2019 outlined its aim of spending $116 billion to compete with TSMC and Intel Corp. in contract chipmaking, making silicon for customers like Qualcomm Inc. or Nvidia Corp. Its announcement on Thursday coincides with the announcement of restrictions on the sale of semiconductors made with American gear to China’s Huawei Technologies Co., a constraint that threatens more than a tenth of TSMC’s business.“This will enable us to break new ground while driving robust growth for Samsung’s foundry business,” ES Jung, head of the contract chipmaking division, said in a statement.Read more: Behind Samsung’s $116 Billion Bid for Chip SupremacySamsung first unveiled its expansion blueprint in April 2019, outlining at the time its goal of hiring thousands and ramping up investment in logic chips in the years leading up to 2030. That initiative arose as sales of smartphones and consumer electronics plateaued and competition from Chinese rivals depressed margins.EUV is the latest and most advanced chipmaking method, requiring machines costing tens of millions of dollars and delivering better precision and performance in the chips it produces. TSMC and Samsung, through its spending plan, are the leaders in developing that process and expanding into 5nm and smaller manufacturing nodes.Before the arrival Covid-19, Samsung had begun collaborating with major clients on designing and manufacturing custom chips and that work was already starting to add to its revenue, a Samsung executive has said. The company’s newest fab in Pyeongtaek joins another 5nm facility in Hwaseong that will begin production in the second half of this year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Xiaomi Corp. reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates after the Chinese smartphone maker got half its revenue from outside its home market for the first time.China’s largest smartphone brand after Huawei Technologies Co. said adjusted net income rose 11% in the three months ended March to 2.3 billion yuan ($324 million), compared with the 2.1 billion-yuan average of estimates. Sales rose 14% to 49.7 billion yuan, powered by a 47.8% jump in overseas revenue.Xiaomi managed to grow its global shipments by 6.1% in the past quarter even as total worldwide volume shrank 11.7%, according to research firm IDC. Beijing-based Xiaomi’s strength in online device sales served it well during the coronavirus period, particularly in Western Europe where shipments increased by almost 80%, according to research firm Canalys. In India, the company’s sales increased thanks to new budget phones released before a nationwide lockdown was declared.Revenue from Internet of Things products and online services maintained strong growth in the quarter. Xiaomi has been diversifying its major sources of revenue beyond smartphones, introducing a wide range of connected products from TVs to smartwatches. It also sells online advertising in China.What Bloomberg Intelligence SaysXiaomi’s smartphone gross profit is poised to surge as last year’s brand revamp hurt margin, even as average selling prices likely tanked on lower China sales mix. Higher revenue from online games and other services such as fintech could have lessened the probable advertising sales slump.\-- Anthea Lai, senior analystClick here for the research.Xiaomi faces a difficult second quarter as Covid-19 containment efforts in key markets including India and Spain are poised to dampen sales. “The different levels of lockdown measures adopted in overseas markets are expected to affect our performance in the second quarter of 2020,” the company said in a statement.Geopolitical tensions are also stoking uncertainty for Xiaomi’s supply chain. The Trump administration has moved to prevent chipmakers using U.S. technology from supplying Huawei, and China has vowed to retaliate. Qualcomm Inc., Xiaomi’s most important processor provider, may be among Beijing’s potential targets. The U.S. chipmaker is also one of Xiaomi’s earliest investors and its mobile CPUs power the company’s entire product line.(Updates with overseas sales from the first paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Since its founding more than three decades ago, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has built its business by working behind the scenes to make customers like Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. shine. Now the low-profile chipmaker has landed squarely in the middle of the U.S.-China trade war, an incalculably valuable asset that both sides are vying to control.The Trump administration opened up a new front in the conflict on Friday by barring any chipmaker using American equipment from supplying China’s Huawei Technologies Co. without U.S. government approval. That means TSMC and rivals will have to cut off Huawei unless they get waivers from the U.S. Commerce Dept. TSMC has already stopped accepting new orders from Huawei, the Nikkei newspaper reported Monday.The move threatens to wreak havoc throughout the complex ecosystem that produces technology for consumers and companies around the world. An attack on Huawei threatens not just its workers and its standing as a world leader in making smartphones and telecom equipment, but also hundreds of suppliers. The Chinese government has vowed to protect its national champion, with threats of retribution against U.S. companies that depend on China like Apple Inc. and Boeing Co.“China likely will retaliate, and investors should brace themselves for a possible trade war escalation,” Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analysts led by Mark Li wrote in a research note on Friday.Read more: U.S. Tightens Rules to Crack Down on Huawei’s Chip Supply Huawei suppliers across Asia fell on Monday, with AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., Q Technology Group Co., Sunwoda Electronic and Lens Technology all sliding 5% or more. TSMC, which gets an estimated 14% of its revenue from Huawei, dropped as much as 2.5%.The U.S. already blacklisted Huawei last year, preventing American companies from supplying the Chinese company unless they got a license. The latest move tightens those restrictions to prevent chipmakers -- American or foreign -- from working with Huawei and its secretive chip-design unit HiSilicon on the cutting-edge semiconductors they need to make smartphones and communications equipment. The Trump administration sees Huawei as a dire security threat, an allegation the company denies.“We must amend our rules exploited by Huawei and HiSilicon and prevent U.S. technologies from enabling malign activities contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a tweet.Huawei countered by accusing the U.S. of ulterior motives.“The so-called cybersecurity reasons are merely an excuse,” Richard Yu, head of the Chinese tech giant’s consumer electronics unit wrote in a post to his account on messaging app WeChat. “The key is the threat to the technology hegemony of the U.S” posed by Huawei, he added.The U.S. decision is likely to hurt not just Huawei and TSMC, but also a clutch of American players including gear-makers Applied Materials Inc., KLA and Lam Research Corp. themselves, Morgan Stanley analysts wrote. Disruptions to Huawei’s production will also hurt U.S. customers from Micron Technology Inc. and Qorvo Inc. to Texas Instruments Inc., they said. But “it bears repeating that any escalation of trade tensions is negative for the stocks overall,” they wrote in a research report.It would have been impossible to imagine TSMC becoming such a coveted chit between the world’s great powers when it was founded in 1987. Morris Chang, born in China and trained in the U.S., started the company as a so-called foundry, manufacturing semiconductors for any customer that didn’t want to construct its own fabrication facility, or fab.At the time, the business wasn’t nearly as glamorous as making chips yourself. Dominating the industry at the time were companies like Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which made processors for personal computers. “Real men have fabs,” AMD co-founder Jerry Sanders would say, making clear that was an insult.But in the intervening years, the foundry industry has become far more strategic for the technology industry. Customers from Apple and Huawei to Qualcomm and Nvidia Corp. have found they can innovate more quickly if they focus on chip designs and then turn to foundries like TSMC to produce them. Innovators in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence or the internet of things also depend on foundries to crack open new markets.Today, many of the chips for mobile phones, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and any other key technology are made at foundries. TSMC has become the leading foundry in the world by investing heavily in ever more advanced fabs, with annual capital spending of about $16 billion this year.It can now manufacture at 5 nanometers, about twice the width of human DNA, while China’s top foundry, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., or SMIC, is at 14 nanometers. That makes TSMC’s chips far more powerful and energy efficient.Huawei and HiSilicon will have few good options if they are cut off from TSMC. One possibility is to procure off-the-shelf chips from Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc. and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., an option Huawei’s rotating Chairman Eric Xu mentioned in late March. But even that may no longer be viable under the new Commerce restrictions.SMIC itself is keen on moving up the technology ladder, eyeing a secondary share listing that could raise more than $3 billion on top of a large capital infusion from the state.Read more: China Injects $2.2 Billion Into Local Chip Firm Amid U.S. CurbsBut that’s a longer-term endeavor and Huawei’s products meanwhile are likely to suffer, putting them at risk of falling behind those of rivals like Apple or Xiaomi Corp.For TSMC, it’s growing ever more difficult to remain neutral amid the growing tensions between the U.S. and China. The company brands itself “everybody’s foundry,” effectively the Switzerland of the tech industry. It supplies Chinese customers like Huawei and the American military, while relying on U.S. producers of semiconductor-making equipment like Applied Materials and Lam Research.TSMC did take one step closer to the U.S. last week, saying it would build a $12 billion chip plant in Arizona. The Department of Defense has expressed concern that overseas fabs may be vulnerable to cyberattacks and domestic manufacturing would assure a more reliable supply of chips.The proposal appears to be carefully calculated to address such security issues without too much damage to profits or its political balancing act. Suppliers to the military, such as Xilinx Inc., would be able to use the U.S. fab, but the facility would likely account for less than 5% of revenue so margins won’t be compromised.It’s not clear if the plans for a U.S. plant will win TSMC leniency in supplying Huawei, however.“TSMC will not be granted or granted a license based on their intent to build a 5 nanometer fab here in the United States. That’s not part of it at all,” Keith Krach, undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment at the State Department, told reporters on a call. “There’s no assurance on that and we don’t anticipate that.”Meanwhile, China appears to be preparing to retaliate for the new restrictions on Huawei. On Friday, the Global Times -- a Chinese tabloid run by the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party -- reported Beijing was ready to initiate countermeasures, including imposing restrictions on Apple, suspending the purchase of Boeing airplanes and putting U.S. companies on an ‘unreliable entity list.’The list will cover “foreign entities that cause actual or potential damage to Chinese companies and industries,” the newspaper said.(Updates with Nikkei report in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plans to spend $12 billion building a chip plant in Arizona, a decision designed to allay U.S. national security concerns and shift more high-tech manufacturing to America.TSMC said Friday it will start construction of its next major fabrication facility in 2021, to be completed by 2024. While the investment falls short of its previous expenditure on cutting-edge factories, it’s a shift for a company that now makes semiconductors for major names like Apple Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co. mainly from its home base of Taiwan.As the world’s largest and most advanced maker of chips for other companies, TSMC plays a crucial role in the production of devices from smartphones and laptops to servers running the internet. Its decision to situate a plant in the western state comes after White House officials had warned repeatedly about the threat inherent in having much of the world’s electronics made outside of the U.S. TSMC had negotiated the deal with the administration to create American jobs and produce sensitive components domestically for national security reasons, according to people familiar with the situation.The Asian chipmaker’s U.S. investment underscores the delicate balance it needs to strike between its huge roster of American clients and China, which views independently governed Taiwan as part of its territory. Beijing’s ambition of creating a world-class domestic semiconductor industry has unnerved Washington, which fears the country’s technological ascendancy may pose a longer-threat. Executives at TSMC, which operates plants in Nanjing and Shanghai and makes chips that go into everything from 5G networks to American fighter jets, have emphasized the company is neutral.“The scale & technology is similar to what TSMC did in China, suggesting a balance between the U.S. & China,” Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analysts led by Mark Li wrote after the announcement. “Overall, this is probably the minimal price to stay neutral. TSMC needs both U.S. & China to maintain scale & stay competitive and this is probably the minimal cost to keep this strategy.”Read more: Huawei Warns of ‘Pandora’s Box’ If U.S. Curbs Taiwan SupplyThe envisioned facility represents a small step in global industry terms. Upon completion, it will crank out 20,000 wafers a month, versus the hundreds of thousands that TSMC’s capable of from its main home base. And it will employ 5-nanometer process technology, a current standard that will likely become a few generations old by the time output begins in a few years.The higher cost of operating in America may have been a factor ahead of the decision. A true cutting-edge fab is expensive to build: The company spent NT$500 billion ($17 billion) to build an advanced facility in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan that will supply new iPhones this year. It plans another $16 billion in capital spending in 2020. The Arizona plant still requires approval from TSMC’s board, which may hinge on incentives.“There is a cost gap, which is hard to accept at this point. Of course, we have -- we are doing a lot of things to reduce that cost gap,” TSMC Chairman Mark Liu said on a recent analyst conference call.U.S. Won’t Tolerate Tech Fence-Sitters Any Longer: Tim CulpanIf the federal government provides cash for a U.S. plant, it’ll mark a shift in policy and rhetoric from a Republican administration. Trump’s White House has rarely supported such direct industrial intervention, favoring market dynamics. A similar government-backed effort with Foxconn -- Apple’s main iPhone assembler -- in Wisconsin has so far not created as many jobs as expected.However, emerging trends may be forcing a reconsideration. The U.S. government is already giving or lending billions of dollars to keep companies afloat in the midst of a pandemic-fueled recession. The crisis has also highlighted how vulnerable global supply chains are to such shocks.The White House may also be motivated by broader political factors. Trump has attacked international trade deals and tried to limit China’s access to semiconductor technology, seeking to contain the country’s technological ascent. TSMC said its Arizona facility will create 1,600 jobs and a deal to bring highly skilled work to Arizona may help Trump’s re-election prospects this year.“TSMC’s plan to build a $12 billion semiconductor facility in Arizona is yet another indication that President Trump’s policy agenda has led to a renaissance in American manufacturing and made the United States the most attractive place in the world to invest,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.By producing chips for many of the leading tech companies, TSMC has amassed the technical know-how needed to churn out the smallest, most efficient and powerful semiconductors in the highest volumes. It manufactures important components designed by Apple and most of the largest semiconductor companies, including Qualcomm Inc., Nvidia Corp., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and China’s Huawei. Shares of Applied Materials Inc., Lam Research Corp. and KLA Corp. rose on optimism that these U.S.-based providers of chipmaking equipment may face fewer export controls when supplying TSMC.Concentrating such valuable capabilities in the hands of one company in Asia is a concern for the U.S., especially when, across the Strait of Taiwan, China is rushing to develop its own semiconductor industry.TSMC’s local rival, GlobalFoundries Inc., has given up on advanced manufacturing and Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, mainly manufactures for itself. Its attempt to become a so-called foundry for external clients has failed to gain major customers. TSMC’s only other significant challenger is South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., which is investing more than $116 billion in its effort to keep up with the leader.“TSMC welcomes continued strong partnership with the U.S. administration and the State of Arizona on this project,” the company said in a statement. “This project will require significant capital and technology investments from TSMC. The strong investment climate in the United States, and its talented workforce make this and future investments in the U.S. attractive to TSMC.”Read more: Foxconn Factory Subsidy Estimate Slashed by Wisconsin Agency(Updates with analyst’s comment from the fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Less than three years after Wisconsin won a beauty contest to lure Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group to the state, local leaders and voters have been left with buyers remorse. Founder Terry Gou’s stated plans to build a $10 billion plant making flat screens were illogical from the start, and taxpayers there now realize it.There’s another Taiwanese company that might be looking for a new American foothold. And this time, such a project makes complete sense.Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is the world’s most important chip company. It makes high-end components using the best technology for clients including Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Nvidia Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Yet it produces the bulk of its chips at three locations in Taiwan with additional capacity in China. TSMC has barely any footprint in America, owning one old factory in Washington state which it bought 20 years ago.U.S. national security concerns, protectionis, and a growing need to diversify have led me to conclude that a new American facility for TSMC is inevitable. A plan is now under discussion, but not yet confirmed, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal this week.The only question — beyond when, and how much — is where TSMC will put it.State governors need to pay attention. They’ve been burnt before, or at least Wisconsin’s Scott Walker has. His decision to push ahead with the Foxconn facility in 2017, at the cost of up to $3 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies, is a major reason that the Republican governor lost reelection the following year.When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump started talking up a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing in 2016, Foxconn’s Gou put his team to work. The company is famous for assembling iPhones using hundreds of thousands of factory workers, mostly in China. As he built his empire, Gou accumulated decades of experience pitting local and national governments against each other with the promise of jobs and economic prosperity. Quite often, the plans never came to fruition, no matter how willing the locals were to make him a sweetheart deal. Within months of Trump’s victory, Gou had governors of rust-belt states — including Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Indiana — eager to land what was described as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. In the end, Wisconsin’s package convinced Foxconn to break ground in Racine County as preparation for a massive flat-panel display factory that would provide 13,000 manufacturing jobs.I wrote back then, many times, that these plans didn’t add up. Flat screens aren’t native to American industry and the country lacks the trained personnel to staff such a facility. There’s already a global oversupply and little chance of strong growth. The product is too fragile to ship long distances. Foxconn has since scaled back its plans and failed to hit some employment targets required to receive incentives. But just 60 miles away from Foxconn’s Taipei headquarters sits TSMC, a company that would be a much better fit for the U.S. With tensions rising between Beijing and Washington, and the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting the risks to America having much of its technology supply chain overseas, TSMC is facing increasing pressure to boost its U.S. presence.At first thought, California might seem the obvious place to host a new factory. After all, that’s where TSMC’s largest clients are based. Ironically, given that it’s home to Silicon Valley — a name derived from the metal used to make integrated circuits — the state has relatively few chip manufacturing facilities. The big names of three decades ago have either merged, or gone fabless — meaning they design without making their own chips.In fact, America’s semiconductor production sector is spread across at least a dozen states around the country, according to my analysis of company data and press reports. (1)That could make a new TSMC facility in the U.S. up for grabs. And if making high-end display panels was a bad fit for Wisconsin, a chip factory fits well in the current and future structure of American industry. To this day, the U.S. remains the global leader in semiconductor design, development and manufacturing, with its universities churning out the best electrical and electronics engineers. TSMC founder Morris Chang is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford, while the current chairman, Mark Liu, got his Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley. Exactly how many jobs a U.S. fab might create is hard to predict. Earlier this year, Liu told investors that any factory there would deploy the company’s most advanced technologies, which work best at scale.As a comparison, TSMC employs over 10,000 people at its Tainan facilities, which utilize leading-edge manufacturing processes for Apple’s iPhone chips, and expects to add another few thousand in coming years. Given that semiconductor manufacturing engineer salaries in America can top $100,000, luring even half that number of jobs would be a boon for any state.The eagerness with which communities chased Amazon.com Inc. for the e-commerce company’s second headquarters shows that many local leaders are as eager to chase high-paid employment as they are factory jobs.With the prospect of the world’s eighth-largest tech company by market value looking for a new place to set up shop, U.S. governors are likely to find themselves back in the chase.(1) Data was collated from company statements, annual reports, and press reports for the past 5 years.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The Qualcomm Inc (NSQ:QCOM) share price has risen by 12.4% over the past month and it’s currently trading at 78.42. For investors considering whether to buy, h8230;
As the corporate sector scrambles for cash to weed off the liquidity crisis, various firms are looking beyond short-term funding avenues to bridge temporary cash shortfalls.
Who could possibly blame SoftBank for walking away last month from its $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shares? Still, the Chinese conglomerate could face an uphill battle in its fight to get out of the contract.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ever since Donald Trump fired the first shot in the U.S. trade war with China, one technology company has been sitting in the middle, trying to avoid the crossfire. It’s wonderful to be able to sell weapons to all sides, until one forces you to choose.Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is in the enviable position of being a critical supplier to both countries. The company, headquartered in famed Hsinchu Science Park, makes the world’s most advanced chips for the likes of Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Nvidia Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. The U.S. fear, as portrayed by the White House, Pentagon and Commerce Department, is that allowing China to procure the world’s best semiconductors while America is unable to make them at home is an urgent and critical national security threat. That’s spurred a two-pronged strategy in recent years: Limit Chinese access to and development of chip technology, and bolster domestic prowess.TSMC’s strategy has been to stay neutral. It has most of its capacity in Taiwan, one new and one not-so-new factory in China, and an old facility in Washington state. A year ago, I wrote that chairman Mark Liu had politely pushed back against pressure to expand in America, citing the steep costs. I concluded: “TSMC won’t be able to sit on the fence forever. While Liu may want to just make chips, he’ll eventually have to make a choice.”That day has come. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted Washington’s need to protect supply chains from disruption, and heightened concerns about reliance on Taiwan, as the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend. To that end, the administration is pushing hard to get chipmakers, including Intel Corp., TSMC and Samsung Electronics Co., to expand in the U.S., and to use their best technology, the WSJ wrote.Unsurprisingly, Intel is making the case that the U.S. should strengthen its domestic production for “geopolitical” reasons. The company has most of its staff, and more than half its plants and equipment, in the U.S., including manufacturing in Arizona, New Mexico and Oregon.While best-known for supplying processors used in PCs and servers under its own name, Intel also operates a foundry business that does contract manufacturing using clients’ own designs. Once the world leader in chip production, the Santa Clara, California-based company has fallen behind and now trails TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung.Intel clearly sees an opportunity. If it can convince defense and commerce officials that it’s in the interest of national security to mandate that at least some chips be made domestically, then it may have a shot at getting back into the foundry game. TSMC has been trying to push back, or at least to get a seat in the policy discussions. It recently hired former Intel lobbyist Peter Cleveland to coordinate its efforts in Washington. As the old saying goes, “If you’re not at the table, then you’re on the menu.”But the other aspect of American strategy may be harder for the Taiwanese company to negotiate. Beyond expanding domestic capacity, Washington wants to limit Chinese access. To do so, the Trump administration is considering new rules to curb the use of U.S. equipment and materials in making chips for the likes of Huawei, arguing that the Chinese company is a conduit for Beijing’s espionage.That’s put TSMC and numerous other companies in a difficult position. The American market accounted for 59% of its sales last year, against 19% for Chinese clients. Yet the growth momentum clearly favors the world’s largest country, which is focused on developing components used in artificial intelligence, 5G communications, surveillance and possibly weaponry. TSMC has attempted to play Switzerland. A year ago, the company was sticking with the line that “We are everybody’s foundry.”Washington increasingly wants TSMC to be its foundry alone. Pressure has ramped up significantly over the past year, with the long list of U.S. clients and significant revenue contribution being used as a battering ram to make the point that America is the side to choose. Ten years ago, when Taipei-Beijing relations were friendlier, companies may have leaned toward China. Today, with China showing increasing belligerence and the U.S. supporting a greater global voice for Taiwan, the mood has shifted.It’s true that China is an important and growing market — Beijing has used that momentum to bring global companies to its shores — yet it won’t replace the U.S. in terms of size or technology leadership in the next 20 years. To assuage concerns, and win a reprieve on restrictions about supplying to China, TSMC has little choice but to offer something to the Americans. After years of delay and resistance, it’s time for TSMC to build a shiny new factory in America. Expect to hear the company announce concrete plans, and large dollar figures for U.S. investment, in the next year or so.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.