TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest chip contractor, lowered its fourth quarter sales forecast by 8.6 percent, as the global economic slowdown continued to cut demand for wafers.
Revenue for the October-December period, previously expected at 71 billion New Taiwan dollars ($2.1 billion), would fall to NT$65 billion, the company said on its Web site Tuesday.
Profit margin would drop to 17-19 percent from the earlier forecast of 21-23 percent, it said.
The chip contractor's latest fourth quarter sales forecast represents a 32 percent fall in sales from the third quarter.
TSMC supplies chips to leading manufacturers of computers, cell phones and other consumer electronic goods around the world.
Analysts said the lower TSMC forecast shows that the upcoming Christmas shopping season has failed to lift wafer demand. Other semiconductor firms, including designing and packaging and testing companies, could also lower their forecasts, they said.
TSMC shares plunged 6.8 percent in morning stock trading Tuesday. The weighted price index of Taiwan's stock market fell more than 4 percent tracking Wall Street's overnight losses.