Thu, May 08, 2008 - Page 11 News List

HTC shares reach new record over new handset hype

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High Tech Computer Corp (HTC, 宏達電), the world's largest maker of mobile phones using Microsoft Corp's Windows software, climbed to a record in Taipei trading on optimism its new Diamond handset will boost sales growth.

HTC gained 0.3 percent to a record NT$832, while the TAIEX index advanced 0.78 percent. That’s the highest for Taoyuan-based HTC’s stock since its initial public offering in March 2002.

On Tuesday the company, whose handsets compete with Apple Inc’s iPhone in the market for touch-screen models, released the Diamond, which features high-speed Internet connection and satellite navigation.

The phone will go on sale next month in Europe through operators including France Telecom SA’s Orange, followed by Asia and the Middle East this quarter and North America in the second half, the company said.

“Everyone sees this as being a good-looking new handset that can boost sales and push up its share price further,” said Tony Wu, a fund manager at Capital Securities Investment Trust Co (群益投信).

Arthur Hsieh (謝宗文) and his colleagues at UBS AG yesterday raised their price estimate for the HTC stock by 23 percent to NT$988, saying the phone has “very good potential to outsell other devices.”

UBS is one of 18 brokerages tracked by Bloomberg with a “buy” rating on HTC. Two have the equivalent of a “hold” rating, and none recommends selling.

HTC said on April 25 that it would introduce a handset based on a Google Inc-led operating system in the fourth quarter, without providing details.

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