Touchpanel supplier Wintek Corp (勝華) yesterday said sales for last month rose for the sixth consecutive month, although the company’s outlook is likely to be sandwiched between bigger rival TPK Holding Co (宸鴻) in the high-end market and Chinese vendors in the low-end segment.
Consolidated revenue increased 18.01 percent to NT$8.52 billion (US$287.4 million) last month from NT$7.22 billion in October, the company said in a statement.
Last month’s figure represented a 15.81 percent expansion from NT$7.36 billion for the same period last year, the statement showed.
The Greater Taichung-based company did not elaborate on its latest sales results.
Analysts said that Wintek would probably see revenue increase sequentially this quarter from NT$17.05 billion last quarter because of new orders for touchpanels used in Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle Fire tablets and Xiaomi Corp’s (小米) M3 smartphones.
In their latest investment notes, Credit Suisse Securities forecast Wintek’s sales to grow 21 percent quarter-on-quarter this quarter and Macquarie Capital Securities Ltd predicted an increase of more than 10 percent in sales this quarter.
However, analysts at the two brokerages said Wintek’s gross margin and operating margin would remain in negative territory because of low utilization, pricing pressure, inventory write-downs and asset impairment.
In the third quarter, the company reported a net loss of NT$2.38 billion or NT$1.30 per share, with a gross margin of minus-8.4 percent and an operating margin of minus-13.6 percent.
Credit Suisse expected the company to report a net loss of NT$1.41 billion or NT$0.76 per share this quarter.
The only bright spot is the touchscreen notebook segment, as the company said earlier that its touchpanel shipments could increase 50 percent this quarter from last quarter to 1.2 million units — mainly to be used in Asustek Computer Inc’s (華碩) and Dell Inc’s new models — although such touchpanels are likely to make up less than 5 percent of total revenue this quarter.
From January through last month, Wintek’s accumulated revenue was NT$68.87 billion, down 27.63 percent from NT$95.16 billion during the same period last year.
Wintek’s shares were up 1.97 percent to NT$9.31 yesterday. They have plunged 39.55 percent since the beginning of the year, compared with the broader market’s 9.29 percent increase.
Additional reporting by Lisa Wang