Sat, Jan 28, 2012 - Page 5 News List

LG Display loss narrows on 3D, mobile panel demand

Bloomberg

LG Display Co, the world’s second-largest producer of LCD panels, reported a narrower-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter, helped by demand for panels used in 3D televisions and mobile devices.

The net loss was 6.3 billion won (US$5.6 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 268.4 billion won a year earlier, according to a filing by the Seoul-based company yesterday.

The average of 25 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for a net loss of 83.9 billion won.

The company, which supplies screens for Apple Inc, is counting on specialty products to withstand an industry slowdown caused by stagnant sales of conventional LCD televisions. Widening adoption of 3D TVs and surging demand for smartphones and tablet computers may help the company boost profit and take on bigger competitor Samsung Electronics Co.

“Those high-value products are making a big contribution to earnings, and the trend will continue,” said Kang Yoon-hum, a Seoul-based analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co. “They have become defining factors that differentiate the company from competitors.”

LG Display rose 2 percent to close at 28,550 won in Seoul, while the benchmark KOSPI index gained 0.4 percent.

Global LCD TV shipments likely reached 206 million units last year, falling short of an earlier projection of 211 million units, according to an October forecast by research company DisplaySearch.

LG will probably ship a similar amount of panels in the first quarter as it did in the previous three-month period, with prices remaining stable, the company said in a statement yesterday.

While TV manufacturers’ inventory restocking may boost sales, the global economic slowdown may damp demand, the statement said.

The company’s parent group said on Jan. 13 it would reduce spending by 15 percent this year, citing slowing consumer spending in the US and Europe as a risk.

Samsung yesterday said capital expenditure for its panel business this year would be 6.6 trillion won.

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