Research tune: Q1 DRAM quotation reverses upward, original profitability will improve

TrendForce's memory storage research (DRAMeXchange) recently released a report that after nearly three quarters of 2019 adjustment, the DRAM inventory of each end product generally returned to normal levels in the fourth quarter, coupled with a limited increase in DRAM supply in 2020 , The purchase side began to pull goods in advance. Looking forward to this quarter, the reversal of DRAM quotes will have the opportunity to improve the profitability of the original factory, but because the price has only risen slightly, the increase in original profit is still limited.

DRAMeXchange pointed out that even under the high base period in the third quarter of 2019, the sales volume of DRAM suppliers in the fourth quarter still showed an increase. Due to the effect of volume increase, the overall average quoted price was offset. The decline caused DRAM revenue in the fourth quarter to decline only slightly by 1.5%, which was slightly flat with the previous quarter.

Judging from the revenue performance of the fourth quarter of each factory in 2019, Trend Micro Consulting pointed out that Samsung ’s server-side shipment growth was slightly lower than that of its peers, and its sales volume increased by only 2-3%. It is also down by 5% to 6.76 billion US dollars; SK Hynix ’s sales position has grown by about 8%. Despite the decline in quotations, fourth-quarter revenue reached US $ 4.54 billion, an increase of 2.9% from the previous quarter; Micron ’s sales volume increased by nearly 2.9% 10%, with revenue of $ 3.47 billion, up 2.1% from the previous quarter.

In terms of original profitability, as DRAM prices fell 7-8% in the fourth quarter of 2019 from the previous quarter, except for Samsung, operating margins of DRAM suppliers generally showed a decline. In addition to the cost advantage brought by the gradual volume increase of 1Ynm, Samsung also benefited from the 1Xnm server product recognition fee replenishment, and its operating profit margin increased from 33% in the third quarter to 36%; SK Hynix continued to In the initial heavy volume phase, costs were dragged down by low yields, and operating profit margins continued to decline from 24% to 19%, the largest decline among the three major manufacturers; Micron's quoted price range for the current quarterly period (September to November) Slightly the same as Korean manufacturers (financial reporting season range from October to December), operating margin fell from 24% in the previous quarter to 20%.

Looking forward to the first quarter of 2020, DRAMeXchange analysis shows that the willingness to purchase on the procurement side is obvious, driving the PC DRAM and server DRAM contract prices to reverse upwards, which means that the profitability of the original factory will have the opportunity to improve, but because the price has only risen slightly, the original factory The increase in profit is still limited. However, in terms of overall shipment performance, Chinbang Consulting pointed out that the first quarter coincides with the Asian Spring Festival holiday, and this is the traditional off-season. Therefore, the three major DRAM makers expect that the first quarter shipments will decline compared to the previous quarter.

At the same time, according to technical observations, from the technical observation, the DRAM capacity of Samsung Line 13 will be gradually switched to the production of CMOS image sensor in 2020, but the second factory of Pingze will start mass production in the second half of the year to make up for Line 13 slides down, while mass production of 1Znm is introduced. On the whole, Samsung ’s total production volume has not changed much this year, and the proportion of 1Znm will not be too high. Maintain a prudent increase in output.

SK Hynix will continue to move M10 DRAM chips to the production of image sensors this year, and will increase M14 output at the same time. As for its two new plants in Wuxi, China, affected by the Sino-US trade war and the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the filming plan tends to be conservative. This year's plan is mainly to switch to 1Ynm.

In terms of Micron, Taiwan ’s Micron memory (formerly Ruijing) has been fully manufactured at 1Xnm, and the next goal will be to skip 1Ynm and directly produce 1Znm; and Taiwan ’s Micron Wafer Technology (formerly Huayaco) has already imported more than half of 1Xnm and 1Ynm The proportion is about 30%.

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