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Global semiconductor sales forecast estimates fall: Cowan LRA model

October 9, 2011

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.

The WSTS posted August 2011’s HBR (Historical Billings Report) on its website on Monday, October 4th, 2011, thereby allowing the calculation of the monthly update of the latest global semiconductor sales forecast estimates for 2011 and 2012 via exercising the Cowan LRA forecasting model reflecting August 2011’s monthly sales including any revisions to previous months’ reported sales numbers. According to the WSTS’s August HBR, August’s actual global semiconductor sales came in at $24.216 billion with a corresponding August 3MMA sales of $25.033 billion.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

It should be highlighted that none of the previous seven months (January through July) experienced any sales revisions from last month’s published HBR. Thus, the total YTD cumulative sales through August totaled $198.271 billion.

This represents a 2011 YTD sales growth of 2.2 percent compared to the same time period in 2010 when August 2010’s YTD sales were $193.976 billion. This continues a downward trend in the month-to-month 2011 YTD sales growth numbers since the beginning of the year as shown in the table here.

The Cowan LRA model’s sales forecast estimates for the month of August as determined by last month’s model run were $26.177 billion (actual) and $25.686 billion (3MMA), respectively. Consequently, the model’s August MI (Momentum Indicator) came in at minus 7.5 percent, which “degraded” from last month’s MI of minus 3.7 percent.

Source: Cowan LRA model.

Source: Cowan LRA model.

This indicates (mathematically speaking) that the semiconductor industry’s August actual sales came in much lower than the model’s previous month’s forecasted expectation by $1.961 billion. This implies that 2011’s sales growth could continue to trend downward for the rest of this year relative to this month’s sales growth expectation of 3.9 percent as discussed here.

The key take-aways from comparing the latest forecast estimates vs. the previous month’s projections (as displayed in the table) are highlighted here:

* 2011’s updated global semiconductor sales forecast estimate fell by $3.219 billion to $309.998 billion (from last month’s sales forecast estimate of $313.217).
* Correspondingly, 2011’s sales growth forecast estimate dropped by 1.1 percentage points to 3.9 percent (from last month’s 5.0 percent sales growth forecast estimate).
* September 2011’s actual sales forecast expectation is $31.528 billion, which corresponds to a September 3MMA sales estimate of $26.413 billion assuming no (or very minor) sales revisions to either July or August’s published actual sales compared to August’s just published HBR by the WSTS.
* 2012’s global semicon sales forecast estimate fell by $3.817 billion to $335.627 billion (from last month’s sales forecast estimate of $339.443 billion).
* Correspondingly, 2012’s sales growth forecast estimate dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 8.3 percent (from last month’s 8.4 percent sales growth forecast estimate).

Next month’s Cowan LRA model’s forecast update, which will reflect September 2011’s actual global semiconductor sales, is expected to be available on or about Tuesday, Nov. 8th, 2011 following the posting of the Sept. HBR on the WSTS’s website.

  1. Sanjeev
    October 10, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Hi Pradeep,

    This was expected. I did forecast modeling based on WSTS historic data. for last couple of quarters the percentage trend was +10-20% (except Q3, 11 where this fell by 30%). I am sure this has resulted piling up the inventory. According to my calculations, 2011 sales should be around 270 bn-275 bn (yes, 8-10% less than previous year). I am affraid that we will not be able to cross $300 bn mark in 2012.

    Best regards,

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