Thu, Feb 17, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Price slide of LCD displays slows down

BLOOMBERG

The slide in prices of some liquid-crystal displays (LCD) used in computers and televisions halted in the first two weeks of this month, an analyst said.

The price of a TV screen measuring 32 inches diagonally stabilized at US$650, unchanged from two weeks ago, Taipei-based WitsView Technology Corp (聯景科技) said on its Web site. The price of a 17-inch monitor screen held firm at US$152 while 15-inch panels used in notebook computers dropped US$5 to US$128.

Prices of screens in the US$36 billion industry dominated by Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea have tumbled more than a third since the middle of last year after 18 months of gains.

Suppliers may post losses if the price of a 17-inch screen falls below US$180, WitsView said last year.

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third-largest LCD maker, posted its first loss in two years in the fourth quarter after a supply glut drove prices down. The company had an unaudited loss of NT$2.23 billion (US$70 million), after net income of NT$7.6 billion a year earlier.

Bloomberg derived the fourth-quarter figures from last year's earnings and nine-month results.

Samsung Electronics posted a 99 percent drop in fourth-quarter operating profit from LCDs.

Samsung Electronics and rivals made record investments last year, betting consumers would replace glass-tube televisions with ones slim enough to be hung on walls.

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