This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.
Based on the WSTS’s June (posted August 5th, 2012) global semiconductor sales of $26.329 billion, actual sales number, the latest monthly forecast expectation for total global semiconductor sales calculated by the Cowan LRA forecasting model came in at $297 billion.
This represents a 2012 year-on-year sales growth forecast expectation of minus 0.85 percent, which declined from the previous month’s year-over-year sales growth forecast estimate of plus 0.1 percent. It is also lower than the joint WSTS/SIA Spring 2012 sales growth forecast of 0.45 percent, which corresponds to a global sales forecast estimate of $300.9 billion.
Consequently, the latest model’s forecast output is presently (based on June 2012′s actual sales) predicting negative sales growth for 2012 compared to 2011.
It should be pointed out that the model’s previous month’s forecast expectation for June was $27.65 billion. This forecasted sales (published last month) was much higher than the actual June sales result of $26.33 billion (lower by $1.32 billion or down 4.8 percent) resulting in an M.I. (Momentum Indictor) of minus 4.8, implying that the sales growth trend will be ‘mildly’ down over the near term.
Inserting June’s actual sales number into the Cowan LRA forecasting model also yields the latest updated sales forecast expectations for the remaining two quarters of 2012 and the first two quarters of 2013. These results are summarized in the table below. Also included in the table are previous month’s sales and sales growth forecast results for comparative purposes.
As displayed in Table 1, the latest projected full year 2012 global semiconductor sales forecast estimate fell to $297 billion from last month’s sales forecast expectation of $299.8 billion, a decrease of $2.8 billion.Source: Cowan LRA Model, USA.
Correspondingly, the updated 2012 sales growth forecast estimate went negative, dropping to minus 0.85 percent from last month’s slightly positive sales growth forecast estimate of plus 0.11 percent, a decrease of almost a full percentage point.
Also note that July’s actual sales estimate is forecasted to come in at $23.2 billion. Thus, July’s actual sales forecast estimate equates to a July 3MMA sales expectation of $24.15 billion, which is down slightly from June’s 3MMA sales result of $24.4 billion. It should be highlighted that this forecasted July 3MMA sales number assumes no (or very minimal) sales revisions to either May or June’s just published sales results by the WSTS.
Additionally with the ‘wrap up’ of the second quarter sales results, year-to-date sales for 2012 (cumulative sales through June) came in at $143 billion compared to last year’s year-to-date sales of $150.6 billion. This coincides to a 2012 year-to-date sales growth of minus 5.1 percent.
This implies that global semiconductor sales for the second half of 2012 must demonstrate some significant strength to reach last year’s sales result of $299.52 billion in order that the full year’s 2012 sales growth is to break even with last year’s sales, let alone show a mildly positive sales growth for the year.
To be more precise, the latest Cowan LRA model’s sales forecast expectation for the second half of 2012 is predicted to come in at $154 billion, which would correspond to a first to second half sequential sales growth (1H => 2H) of 7.7 percent. Therefore, the second half global semiconductor revenue would need to grow sequentially by more than 9.5 percent to assure positive sales growth for 2012 relative to 2011.
Remember that the Cowan LRA Model’s monthly forecast numbers do not ‘sit still’, but change (evolve) each month reflecting the latest actual monthly sales numbers as published by the WSTS as the year plays out. This by-month evolution for both the sales and sales growth forecast results for each of the first six months of this year are illustrated in the following table below.Source: Cowan LRA Model, USA.