Thu, Mar 07, 2013 - Page 13 News List

HTC shares fall amid concern over forecasts

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday said sales last month dropped 26.45 percent to NT$11.37 billion (US$383.9 million) from NT$15.5 billion in January.

On an annual basis, sales last month reflected a 43.98 percent contraction, compared with NT$20.29 billion posted in February last year.

The company did not elaborate on the falling sales.

Before the latest figures were released, HTC shares closed down 6.41 percent at NT$255.5 in Taipei trading amid market speculation that the company may report losses this quarter due to shortages of materials used in smartphones.

Last month’s sales were in line with Jih Sun Securities Investment Consulting Co’s (日盛投顧) forecast, which said the company could post sales of less than NT$12 billion for last month due to a shortage of voice coil motors (VCM) used in the camera modules of HTC smartphones.

Shares also fell over concerns that HTC’s first-quarter revenue may not meet its guidance as the company invests more in marketing to promote its new products.

On Feb. 4, HTC told an investors’ conference it forecast first-quarter sales of between NT$50 billion and NT$60 billion, with gross margin between 21 percent and 23 percent, and operating margin between 0.5 percent and 1 percent.

Given that accumulated sales during the first two months of the year totaled NT$26.91 billion, HTC must make sales of more than NT$23 billion this month in order to reach the low end of its sales forecast.

HTC yesterday declined to comment on the speculation.

The company said during an investors’ conference that it remained confident for the year and expected its new flagship HTC One smartphone model to help the firm achieve sequential quarterly sales growth from next quarter.

Meanwhile, Largan Precision Co (大立光), which supplies camera lens modules to HTC, on Tuesday said its sales last month fell 45.09 percent to NT$1.23 billion, from NT$2.24 billion in January.

Largan blamed the disappointing results on fewer orders during the off-peak season, while the company’s sales were also impacted by the reduced number of working days last month because of the Lunar New Year holiday.

The company forecast sales this month would bounce back and said it was cautiously optimistic about overall sales performance in the first half of the year.

Accumulated sales in the first two months of the year grew 49.32 percent to NT$3.48 billion from NT$2.33 billion during the same period of last year, Largan said.

The firm’s shares fell 5.28 percent to close at NT$772.00.

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