UMC underperforms while the press follows suit

The release of UMCs results have to go on record as highlighting the laziness of the tech and financial press.

UMC said that it made 19 percent less than expected in the fourth-quarter and it duly issued an annual report. For some reason it issued it using a secure PDF which meant that if anyone wanted to use it, they would have to type it in, rather than use the traditional cut and paste.

Reuters did not bother and just linked to the document and all those who followed wrote two sentence stories and did the same thing. So far only Fox News has managed to write more than four paragraphs.

It used to be said that the best way to bury bad news was to issue it on a day when the world’s press was dealing with a natural disaster, but now it appears that it is better to issue it on a secure PDF.

The Taiwan-based contract chip manufacturer said its net profit for the three months ended December 31 was $39.7 million which is an improvement on a year earlier but well below what the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street had predicted. Revenue fell by 8.5 percent and gross profit was $150 million.

UMC’s new CEO, Po-Wen Yen, said that there was a weaker-than-expected demand for medium-performance chips and the Taiwanese currency was too strong for its own good.

UMC is still ramping up its 28-nanometer capacity and mostly producing with less advanced technology for feature phones or less sophisticated smartphones.

The CEO admitted that its 28-nanometer plans were taking longer than expected, but the company is determined to push through.

Yen said that his priority is to ramp up R&D for advanced processes and this year will see continued capital development in China.

There was a slump in demand because customers were uncertain about the future, and the fact that UMC was sitting on piled of wafers in its warehouses. When demand recovers, the company expects to see a strong growth in the mobile sector, Yen added.