Mon, Aug 08, 2011 - Page 12 News List

E Ink sales rose 83 percent last month

BACK TO SCHOOL:Thanks to improved performance, more attractive price tags and increased availability of content on the Web, e-readers are hot items for US students

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Scott Liu, chairman of the world’s biggest e-paper display supplier, E Ink Holdings Inc, smiles for the camera on June 14.

Photo: CNA

E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s biggest e-paper display supplier, yesterday posted NT$2.85 billion (US$98.24 million) in consolidated sales for last month, marking growth of 83 percent year-on-year.

Cumulative sales from January to last month were NT$19.86 billion, up 69 percent from the same period last year, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

E Ink, which saw net income more than double in the first half to NT$3 billion, said it expected revenue through October to pick up steam month-by-month based on seasonality.

“Shipment growth of e-readers to North America has been exponential this year,” E Ink chairman Scott Liu (劉思誠) said in the statement. “E-readers are hot sellers for the back-to-school summer period in North America, thanks to their improved performance, attractive price tags and broader availability of e-content.”

Shares of E Ink closed at NT$55.2 in Friday trading, down 6.91 percent from the previous session, as the local market was hit by a global rout triggered by plunges in the overnight US and European markets.

The stock has fallen 6.6 percent so far this year versus a 16.97 percent decline for the benchmark TAIEX, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

E Ink supplies e-paper displays for Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle e-reader series. Its customers also include Japan’s Sony Corp and China’s Hanvon Technology Co (漢王科技).

The company said on July 28 that it was optimistic about its performance in the second half of the year, revising upward its guidance for global e-reader shipments to between 25 million and 30 million this year, an increase from its April estimate of between 20 million and 30 million shipments.

E Ink received substantial orders for shipments in the third quarter, raising its confidence that third-quarter profit could rebound to the level seen in the first quarter, or even higher, Liu said.

The company’s second-quarter net income fell to NT$1.33 billion, or NT$1.22 per share, during the April to June period, from NT$1.68 billion, or NT$1.56 per share, in the first quarter.

Brokerage house CLSA said E Ink was set to usher in a solid third quarter compared with the earlier three months, when there were no new rollouts of tablet PCs and e-readers.

“E Ink’s earnings momentum should resume with the debut of the new Kindle and Amazon tablets, for which it is the major display provider, before Christmas,” CLSA said in a research note last month.

To ensure it has enough supplies, E Ink announced last month it would invest up to NT$1.5 billion in purchasing panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd’s (CPT, 中華映管) three-year convertible bonds as part of a strategic alliance.

CPT will guarantee 20 to 30 percent capacity at its sixth-generation fab to E Ink for e--paper backplane and FFS display production.

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