Revenues of Taiwan’s optical drive manufacturers picked up in September from the prior month but persistent pricing pressure might spell uncertainty for their margins, the companies said. At Lite-on IT, Taiwan’s leading optical drive maker, September revenues grew to NT$3.45 billion, rising 12% from August and 43.1% from a year earlier. It said revenues for the July-September quarter, at NT$9.25 billion, were 8% lower than its original forecast. Cumulative revenues from January through September reached NT$30.47 billion, or 75.6% of its full-year estimates.
There was speculation that Lite-On’s third-quarter gross margins would drop to 14% form 18.2% in the second quarter despite a 10.3% unit shipment growth, reflecting lower prices. Lite-On did not comment on the speculation.
Quanta Storage, Taiwan’s largest maker of thin-type optical drives, posted a record NT$663 million in revenues last month, an increase of 6% from August and 202.7% from a year earlier.
It said higher-margin “combo” CD-RW/DVD-ROM drives comprise 60% of its revenues, with the rest split evenly between CD-ROM drives and DVD-ROM drives.
Third-quarter revenues exceeded projection at NT$1.82 billion, but Quanta confirmed that its gross margin would fall, without giving the extent of the drop.
The company reported gross margin of 33.8% for the first half of the year and has a full-year target of 32%.
It said revenue performance to date has been stable but called the possibility of revising upward 2002 projections “quite limited.” Quanta’s January-September revenues, at NT$4.38 billion, represented 70.4% of its 2002 estimates.
Behavior Tech Computer (BTC) said its September revenues came in higher than expected at NT$800 million. It did not give information on its margins, only saying that declining prices have had a limited impact because of moderate shipment levels in the past two quarters.
Separately, the company said it will launch 52x CD-RW drives in the coming months and is actively cooperating with Japanese firms on DVD+RW drive products.
Ultima Electronics said its revenues for September added 30.7% from August to NT$806 million but signaled a 16.3% decline from a year earlier.