HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 5 smartphone maker, yesterday posted record-high quarterly profits on the back of high demand for its new fourth-generation (4G) handsets.
In the first quarter, HTC’s net income soared to NT$14.83 billion (US$512 million), or NT$18.36 per share, almost double its net income of NT$5 billion, or NT$6.38 per share, in the same period last year. On a quarterly basis, the first-quarter results were slightly higher than net profits of NT$14.8 billion in the final quarter of last year.
“HTC’s quarterly profits are 3 percent higher than my estimate. The quarterly profits are above seasonality, which is rarely seen,” said Lu Chia-ling (呂家霖), who tracks HTC for Samsung Securities. “HTC’s 4G smartphones for US telecoms operators Verizon and AT&T are both best-sellers after Apple [Inc’s] iPhone.”
The average selling price (ASP) of 4G handsets is much higher than other models, Lu said.
HTC said in January that ASP rose to US$364 a unit in the fourth quarter of last year, hitting its highest level in seven quarters.
Lu maintained his “buy” rating on HTC with a 12-month target price of NT$1,300, implying a 12 percent upside from the stock’s closing price of NT$1,160 yesterday.
HTC’s revenues in the first three months also reached an all-time high of NT$104.16 billion, exceeding the company’s forecast of NT$94 billion and higher than the NT$104 billion made in the fourth quarter of last year. The figures were almost three times the NT$37.95 billion of a year ago.
“Almost all our [new] products have been well-received,” said Maggie Tseng (曾慧美), a senior official at HTC’s investor relation division. “Unit sales [in the first quarter] have exceeded our forecast.”
She gave no specific figures.
In January, HTC told investors that shipments would slide to 8.5 million units in the first quarter, about 7 percent lower than the 9.13 million units the company shipped in the fourth quarter of last year. HTC shipped 3.3 million units in the first quarter of last year.
HTC’s strong growth was boosted by burgeoning worldwide demand for smartphones. Global smartphone shipments are expected to grow 57.7 percent to 468 million units this year from 297 million units last year, market researcher Gartner Inc projected yesterday. In 2015, global shipments would go beyond 1.1 billion units, the researcher predicted.
HTC plans to release financial details of its first-quarter and second-quarter outlook in an investor conference scheduled for April 29.
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