Epistar Utilization Rates to Rebound to 70% in March

Epistar’s epiwafer utilization rates are expected to rise to at least 70% in March, according to several Taiwanese media reports.

The leading Taiwanese LED chip manufacturer reported monthly revenue growth of 19.13% to NT $2.42 billion in January 2015, according to an UDN report. Epistar attributed the growth to recent merge with FOREPI and TSMC SSL. In addition, the company has received stable demands from international lighting manufacturers.

A China Times report noted Epistar aims to complete integration with Taiwan's second largest LED manufacturer FOREPI by the end of 1Q15. After the merge, Epistar will have in total nearly 500 MOCVDs. The economy needs to rebound to a certain degree for the company's MOCVD equipment to be fully utilized. Nevertheless, most industry experts including a European financial institute estimated Epistar’s utilization rates should rebound to 72% in March.

The company also projected the market outlook will improve next month. Significant revenue growth in January was spurred by conservative LED manufacturers that refrained from ordering to prevent dead stocks in 4Q14 have begun to place orders in January, while other manufacturers stocked up ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays in February, explained an Epistar spokesperson. Yet, most of these were short term orders, indicating the economy has not fully rebounded and there is limited order visibility. Despite the overall economic environment, the company upheld a positive outlook for March as demands for high-end LED lighting and backlight orders remained strong. Moreover, the LED industry will be entering its traditional peak season in March.

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