Sat, Feb 08, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Catcher stock shares jump

Staff writer, with CNA

Shares of Catcher Technology Co (可成), one of Taiwan’s leading metal casing suppliers, surged on Friday after several foreign brokerages raised their target prices on the stock amid optimism about the company’s earnings outlook, dealers said.

The buying was also sparked after Catcher reported a record high net profit for last year, largely on the back of solid demand for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Shares of Catcher rose 5.77 percent to close at NT$220.00, while the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 0.91 percent.

The stock opened sharply higher in the wake of last year’s results, and momentum accelerated as investors were encouraged to pick up Catcher shares after foreign institutional investors raised their recommendations.

In an investor conference held a day earlier, Catcher said it posted NT$13.80 billion in net profit, up 27.6 percent from a year earlier, while its earnings per share (EPS) stood at NT$18.38 compared with NT$14.40 recorded in 2012.

Last year, Catcher’s consolidated sales totaled NT$43.25 billion, up 16.80 percent, while its gross margin fell 0.9 percentage points to 42.4 percent.

The company’s EPS and consolidated sales were also at the highest levels in its history.

In the fourth quarter alone, Catcher’s net profit rose 25.3 percent from the third quarter to NT$3.47 billion, while its ESP for the October to December period rose 25.2 percent from a quarter earlier to NT$4.62. The fourth quarter’s gross margin stood at 41.7 percent, which was little changed from the third quarter.

Among one of the upbeat foreign brokerages upbeat about Catcher’s earnings outlook, Citigroup Global Markets said the metal casing supplier has secured orders from new clients.

Citigroup said it is a move that has diversified its client portfolio and reduced its dependence on Apple Inc, one the largest buyers of the Taiwanese company’s products.

Citigroup has raised its target price on Catcher shares to NT$279 from NT$255, while leaving a buy recommendation on the stock unchanged.

HSBC Securities said Catcher has been gearing up to install new computer numerical control facilities to meet growing demand from Apple, which is likely to launch new iPhones later this year.

HSBC Securities has raised its target price on Catcher shares to NT$265 from NT$263 and maintained an overweight recommendation on the stock.

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