Sat, Apr 18, 2009 - Page 12 News List

LG Display expects to see end to losses by the end of June

ALMOST THERE The Korean maker of flat panel displays said demand was stronger than expected and panel prices were showing recovery signs


LG Display Co, the world’s second-largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, expects losses to end before the end of June because of rising panel prices, chief executive officer Kwon Young-soo said yesterday.

“The second quarter will definitely be better and we expect one of the months in the quarter to achieve a break-even point,” Kwon said.

“Panel prices will rise and there may be a slight shortage,” Kwon said.

On Thursday, LG Display reported a first-quarter net loss of 255 billion won (US$191 million), compared with the median 319 billion won deficit estimate in a survey of 12 analysts by Bloomberg.

The Seoul-based company said demand was stronger than expected and panel prices were showing signs of a recovery.

Macquarie Group Ltd increased its share-price estimate on LG Display by 25 percent to 32,500 won yesterday and said the company would post an operating profit this year, compared with an earlier projection for a loss.

“It’s a comfort for Taiwan flat panel makers,” Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券) trader Shawn Wang said.

“It means a better near-term outlook for us too. This adds to our expectation that flat panel prices may rise in May and June,” Wang said.

Taiwan has a 30 percent share of the global flat panel market in the three months that ended on March 31, while South Korea has about 60 percent, the Taipei-based market researcher WitsView Technology Corp said.

But, because of profit-taking, shares of AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), Taiwan’s largest producer of liquid-crystal displays, which is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings next week, dropped 1.54 percent to NT$32, while rival Chi Mei Optoelectronics (奇美電子) fell limit-down to NT$17.95.

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