Fri, Oct 26, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Ability Enterprise warns of less-than-upbeat outlook

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan-based digital camera maker Ability Enterprise Co (佳能企業) yesterday released a less-than-upbeat outlook for this quarter on weak seasonal demand after it reported third-quarter earnings fell both quarterly and annually.

Ability Enterprise, which manufactures digital cameras and camera modules for major Japanese brands on a contract basis, said shipments would drop this quarter, but sales would only fall slightly from last quarter on the back of still-strong average selling prices.

In an online conference call with investors and analysts yesterday, the company said its overall shipments for this year would likely decline 20 percent from last year, while gross margin would be less than 10 percent.

The company’s grim outlook came on the same day that Japanese digital imaging solutions provider Canon Inc, one of Ability Enterprise’s clients, slashed its sales and profit forecasts for this year, citing instability in the global economy and unfavorable exchange rates.

Tokyo-based Canon also lowered its full-year sales outlook for its digital cameras by about 10.7 percent to 19 million units, from a previous forecast for 13.8 percent growth to 21 million units, according to a report posted on the Japanese firm’s Web site.

Ahead of the release of the firm’s third-quarter results, Ability Enterprise shares fell 1.95 percent to NT$25.1 in Taipei trading, while Canon shares rose 2.24 percent to ¥2,645 in Tokyo.

In the third quarter, Ability Enterprise’s net income was NT$377 million (US$12.9 million), down 5.3 percent from the second quarter and 9.2 percent from a year earlier.

For the three months ending Sept. 30, revenue was down 3.7 percent quarter-on-quarter and 14.5 percent year-on-year at NT$11.01 billion, the Wugu District (五股), New Taipei City (新北市)-based company said in its report.

That brought the company’s gross margin to 9.38 percent in the third quarter, compared with 10.18 percent in the previous quarter and 8.89 percent the previous year, while operating margin fell to 3.8 percent from 4.9 percent in the second quarter and 4.3 percent last year.

From January to last month, net income totaled NT$1.098 billion, up 35.9 percent from NT$808 million last year, while earnings per share hit NT$2.46, compared with NT$1.81 the previous year.

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