Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

HTC sales up, but profits down

HTC Corp (宏達電), manufacturer of the world’s first Google phone running on Android platform, yesterday reported that revenues last year reached NT$152.56 billion (US$4.6 billion), up 28.7 percent, or NT$33.98 billion, from 2007’s NT$118.58 billion.

Revenues last month came in at NT$13.58 billion, representing a rise of 19.5 percent from NT$11.37 billion during the same month in 2007.

Last year’s pre-tax profit and after-tax profit reached NT$37.78 billion and NT$34.20 billion respectively before bonus distribution, resulting in earnings per share (EPS) of NT$45.35.

After employee bonus distribution, the smartphone manufacturer’s pre-tax profit and after-tax profit came in at NT$31.66 billion and NT$28.68 billion respectively, resulting in an EPS of NT$38.03 — a sharp retraction from 2007’s NT$50.48.

New car sales plummet

New car sales in Taiwan fell to the lowest level in 23 years last year as consumer spending tightened, with market leader Toyota seeing a 25 percent fall in sales.

The latest government statistics showed that new car sales plummeted by 30 percent from 2007 to less than 230,000 units last year. The nation’s auto market has seen sales fall for three consecutive years, after reaching a peak of 514,000 units in 2005.

Executives at Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), the local distributor of Toyota and Lexus models, said the market would not see a turnaround until the second half of this year, with sales likely to drop further to 200,000 units this year.

Well Glory fails to pay

Well Glory Development Co (志嘉建設), a Hsinchu-based construction company known for building luxury homes, bounced NT$29.46 million (US$891,300) in checks on Dec. 31, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported yesterday.

The company yesterday attributed its financial difficulty to disappointing home sales amid the economic downturn. It also denied rumors that it had a capital gap of NT$1 billion, putting the figure at NT$100 million.

Shares of Well Glory Development have been banned from margin trading on the GRETAI Securities Market starting today, meaning all transactions will have to be conducted in cash. The company’s share price closed limit down at NT$8.69 yesterday.

Notebook makers downgraded

Citigroup Inc lowered its ratings on Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) and Wistron Corp (緯創), the world’s three largest makers of notebook computers, amid weakening demand.

Quanta was lowered to “hold” from “buy,” while Compal and Wistron were both downgraded to “sell,” Taipei-based analyst Eve Jung (戎宜蘋) wrote in a report on Monday. Compal was previously rated “hold” and Wistron a “buy.”

“Slowing consumer demand due to tightening budgets and continuous weak IT spending could negatively affect notebook shipment growth” in the first half of this year, Jung said.

The brokerage also downgraded Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world’s largest supplier of motherboards, to “sell” from “buy.” Jung retained her “buy” rating on Acer Inc (宏碁), the world’s third-largest computer supplier, but lowered her price target from NT$72 to NT$50.

NT dollar slides

The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, slipping by NT$0.049 to close at NT$33.054. A total of US$954 million changed hands during the day’s trading.

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