Wed, Oct 08, 2008 - Page 11 News List

AU Optronics third-quarter shipments down 5.2%


AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the nation’s top supplier of flat panels, yesterday reported disappointing shipments for the third quarter, citing the economic slowdown.

For the period from July to last month, the Hsinchu-based company delivered 20.72 million units of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels used in computers and television sets. That represented a 7 percent drop year-on-year, or about 5.2 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Shipments for TV and PC panels could grow 5 percent quarter-on-quarter, the company told investors in July.

The company said TV panel shipments were in line with its forecast, implying that sluggish demand for computer panels was behind the decrease last quarter.

Sales last month fell 35.7 percent to NT$34.56 billion (US$1.06 billion) from a year ago, bringing third-quarter revenues to NT$104.31 billion. Revenues dropped 24 percent year-on-year.

“The sales decline in the third quarter was a result of the lower-than-expected shipments and average selling prices for computer panels and the weak average selling prices for TV panels,” AU Optronics said in the statement.

The company had expected PC panel prices to drop 15 percent quarter-on-quarter and TV panel prices to drop 5 percent.

“The uncertainties of the current macroeconomy resulted in [the decline],” the company said.

Jeff Pu (蒲得宇), a flat-panel industry analyst with Yuanta Securities (元大證券), said the third quarter results fell short of most analysts’ expectations by between 5 percent and 6 percent.

“The possible reason may be stronger price pressure for TV panels in the downturn, since we know rivals offered lower prices to snare orders,” Pu said.

Shares of AU Optronics rose 0.72 percent to NT$35 yesterday, outperforming the benchmark TAIEX index, which gained 0.34 percent.

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