Securities Times reporter Ruan Yunsheng

  Since the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the semiconductor industry has become one of the few industries that maintains a high growth rate against the trend. The market is worried about when will the industry's inflection point appear?

  According to the statistics of reporters from Securities Times · e company, the operating income of listed companies in the A-share (Shenwan) semiconductor industry will reach 355.1 billion yuan in 2021, a record high, and the net profit of the entire industry will double to 55.6 billion yuan, but the profit in the first quarter of this year will increase. The rate of growth dropped rapidly, setting a new low quarterly growth rate since the outbreak of the epidemic, and the industry's inventory level has reached a record high.

Industry insiders pointed out that the semiconductor industry may be temporarily affected by the trade environment and the new crown pneumonia epidemic in the short term, and the growth rate has slowed down, but under the background of high demand in new energy, industry and other fields, the semiconductor industry is expected to continue to maintain the business cycle.

Industry Inventory Level

doubled before the pandemic

  Judging from the performance of A-share listed companies, the semiconductor industry still maintains rapid growth, and the profit scale continues to expand. The single-quarter profit scale in the first quarter of this year almost reached the industry's full-year net profit level in 2019 before the outbreak.

  According to Wind statistics, (Shenwan) listed companies in the semiconductor industry will have a record high net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies in 2021, reaching 55.612 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 1.5 times, and a further increase in net profit growth compared to 2020.

Silan achieved the highest growth rate, and its net profit increased by about 21 times year-on-year; National Technology and Beijing Junzheng achieved a growth rate of more than 10 times; the net profit of listed companies in the industry in the first quarter of this year was about 10.1 billion yuan (excluding the first quarter data of SMIC). ), about 1/3 of the listed companies in the industry doubled their profits.

  However, in the first quarter of this year, the profit growth rate of the semiconductor industry slowed down significantly, and the net profit of listed companies increased by 25% year-on-year. If the unlisted targets in 2019 were excluded, the year-on-year growth dropped by about 19%, and the net profit doubled from the same period last year. After a sharp decline, in each segment, the growth rate of discrete devices, semiconductor design and semiconductor equipment is relatively high, but the doubling of profits has not recurred.

  Specifically, affected by the sluggish demand for consumer electronics, listed companies such as Guoke Microelectronics, Huiding Technology, and Jingfeng Mingyuan, which have high business correlations, suffered losses in the first quarter of this year.

Compared with analog chips, power, OLED driver chips and other categories, the growth is strong.

Leon Micro is mainly engaged in semiconductor silicon wafers and power devices. Last year, it achieved a net profit of 600 million yuan. In the first quarter of this year, its net profit was 238 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of more than 2 times, maintaining rapid growth.

Wu Nengyun, secretary of the company's board of directors, told a reporter from Securities Times e company that benefiting from the development of clean energy such as photovoltaics and wind energy, as well as the strong demand for new energy vehicles, industrial automation control and other terminals, it is expected that semiconductor silicon wafers will remain strong in the next 3 to 5 years. need.

  On the other hand, the high inventory level of listed companies in the semiconductor industry continued to climb.

Statistics show that the inventory of listed companies in the industry last year was about 82.7 billion yuan, an increase of nearly 60% year-on-year. In the first quarter of this year, it increased to 86 billion yuan, almost twice the size before the outbreak in 2019.

Among them, the inventory of listed semiconductor design companies in the first quarter doubled from the end of last year.

Under the current round of Shanghai epidemic, logistics has been hindered, resulting in semiconductor companies tending to increase their inventories to ensure the stability of the supply chain.

  A-share chip design leader and sensor chip leader Weil shares disclosed that due to the impact of the epidemic and weak consumer electronics, the net profit in the first quarter of this year was 896 million yuan, down 13.9% year-on-year, and the inventory reached 10.47 billion yuan, an increase of nearly 86% year-on-year.

At the performance briefing meeting, Ren Bing, the board secretary of Weil, said that the company's inventory volume is compatible with its product structure and development strategy. At this stage, the company strategically reserves a certain amount of inventory.

At present, the company's inventory products are mainly general-purpose products with long product life cycles and strong product competitiveness. The company's inventory impairment reserves have been fully accrued considering the needs of downstream customers.

  Industry analysts pointed out that due to wafer foundry shortages and price increases, coupled with concerns about the disruption of the supply chain due to the epidemic, domestic chip design and other customers have greatly increased their inventories.

However, compared with the active stockpiling of semiconductor companies, Apple executives said at the recent earnings conference that the most important problem currently facing is the shortage of chips, but the company does not tend to hold a large amount of inventory.

In today's world, where it's difficult for Apple to get a buffer on chip reserves, Apple will try to shorten the time it takes for a chip to go from the fab to the final assembly plant.

Chips are in short supply

will face an inflection point

  In the context of the continuous accumulation of high inventory by chip design customers, the market is worried that the semiconductor industry cycle will reverse in the future, and the performance of wafer foundries will be under pressure.

  According to statistics from Sinolink Securities, the number of months of inventory in the chip design industry in the first quarter of this year was as high as 6.51 months, an increase of 22% month-on-month and a year-on-year increase of 74%; if the foundry demand and price reverse in 2023, the inventory correction will reverse the wafer The performance of the foundry leader increased.

Under the tide of lack of cores and rising prices, the integrated circuit manufacturing industry has expanded rapidly in the past two years. Last year, the net profit of listed companies in this sector exceeded 13.2 billion yuan, which is second only to the semiconductor design sector with a large number of companies.

The performance of SMIC, a leading domestic foundry company, has doubled. Last year's net profit reached 10.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 1.47 times.

Company executives said that this year's capital expenditure is expected to be 5 billion US dollars, and the equivalent 8-inch capacity growth is expected to be between 130,000 and 150,000, of which 12-inch growth will far exceed last year's level.

  Referring to TSMC, the world's largest foundry, its capital expenditure will increase from $30 billion in 2021 to $42 billion this year, and SMIC is still far behind.

But when capital expenditures grow by more than 40%, the industry predicts that there will be excess capacity and a decline in semiconductor growth in the future.

Most of the fabs expanded in the past two years are expected to start production around 2023 to 2025, which means that the semiconductor supply and demand relationship is expected to reach a balance by the end of 2022, and the chip shortage will be alleviated in 2023.

  Compared with the integrated circuit manufacturing industry, the profit growth rate of the packaging and testing industry, which was previously in short supply, has dropped significantly.

According to statistics, the net profit of listed companies in the packaging and testing industry reached 7.2 billion yuan last year, and the year-on-year growth rate has dropped from 4 times in 2020 to 90%. In the first quarter of this year, it increased by about 30% year-on-year.

Industry insiders pointed out that the packaging and testing industry is relatively easier to expand production than the foundry industry, and the previous production capacity shortage has been greatly eased last year.

  As a leading company in packaging and testing, Changdian Technology’s net profit last year was close to 3 billion yuan, and it reached 861 million yuan in the first quarter of this year, doubling year-on-year growth.

In 2022, the company plans to invest 6 billion yuan in capital, of which 70% of the packaging type in the capacity expansion capital expenditure is invested in advanced packaging, focusing on 5G, high-performance computing, storage, automotive electronics and other directions.

Equipment and IDM Enterprise

strong growth

  In the context of wafer foundry capacity expansion, semiconductor equipment and material profits have also grown rapidly

  The peak period of profitability of the semiconductor equipment sector will be in 2020, with a year-on-year growth rate of net profit of 13 times, and the growth rate will drop in 2021.

Semiconductor materials ushered in a big explosion in performance last year, with a year-on-year increase of nearly 2 times to 2.1 billion yuan. The overall net profit of the two sectors in the first quarter of this year increased by about 40% year-on-year.

Analysts in the electronics industry pointed out that overseas semiconductor equipment manufacturers were affected by the lack of chips and zero components in the supply chain, and the equipment delivery period was prolonged. The revenue and profit in the first quarter fell or increased slightly from the previous quarter, which were lower than market expectations.

Most of the domestic equipment manufacturers are in the early stage of development, and downstream fabs are rapidly infiltrating, and economies of scale are emerging.

  From the perspective of contract liabilities, listed semiconductor equipment companies have full orders, second only to integrated circuit manufacturing companies in scale. Last year, it was close to 8.3 billion yuan, an increase of 87% year-on-year.

The leading semiconductor equipment companies, North China Creation and China Microelectronics, both exceeded 1 billion yuan in net profit last year, doubling their growth, and their net profit after non-deduction in the first quarter also maintained growth.

  The IDM model featuring the entire industry chain has fully demonstrated the advantages of self-control in this round of semiconductor core shortages.

As a leader in IDM power devices, Silan Micro has benefited from breakthroughs in high-threshold markets such as automobiles, communications, new energy, industry, and white goods. Last year's net profit was about 1.5 billion yuan, and the net profit in the first quarter of this year was 268 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 54.54% .

Chen Xiangdong, chairman of Silan Micro, pointed out at the performance briefing that the company seized the tight time window of global chip supply, accelerated the volume of products in high-threshold markets and high-end customers, and accelerated the production capacity of 8-inch and 12-inch chip production lines and special packaging production lines. Construction; it is expected that the company's operating income will reach 10 billion yuan in 2022, and the profitability will be further improved.

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