Tue, Mar 04, 2014 - Page 13 News List

HTC’s sales drop again last month

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday reported its sales fell for the fourth consecutive month last month as the company continued losing sales momentum during a product-cycle transition.

Sales last month slid to NT$7.22 billion (US$238.5 million), a record low since February 2007, according to the company’s filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The figure reflects a 25.29 percent drop from NT$9.67 billion in January and a 36.45 percent decline from NT$11.36 billion a year ago, stock exchange data show.

Cumulative sales during the first two months of the year shrank 37.2 percent to NT$16.89 billion from the same period last year.

On Feb. 20, HTC chief financial officer Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨) said in an earnings call that the firm’s sales last month might be lower because of the Lunar New Year holiday. Sales were expected to pick up this month as the company plans to start shipping its new flagship product, dubbed “M8,” beginning this month, he said.

Taishin Securities Investment Advisory Co (台新投信) analyst Mark Yen (顏明賢) yesterday said HTC’s sales last month missed his estimate of NT$8 billion.

HTC may achieve its sales guidance of between NT$34 billion and NT$36 billion this quarter, supported mainly by sales of its M8 model and the newly launched Desire 816 mid-end model, Yen said.

However, as the company’s operating expense continues growing during the new product transition, Yen forecast net losses this quarter of NT$21.5 billion, or losses per share of NT$2.55, for this quarter.

HTC may turn profitable next quarter, but whether the company can sustain an uptrend remains a question, he added, citing severe competition in the global smartphone market led by Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc.

Meanwhile, Yuanta Securities Corp (元大證券) analyst Dennis Chan (詹宗勳) said HTC’s sales last month were lower than his NT$8.67 billion estimate.

Chan remains downbeat on HTC’s financial performance.

“HTC, along with Chinese brands, is rolling out more affordable smartphone models, but I don’t see them as particularly attractive,” Chan said.

This quarter, Chan forecast HTC losses of NT$13.6 billion, with losses per share of NT$1.6.

HTC’s shares closed up 0.37 percent at NT$136.5 in Taipei trading yesterday, while the benchmark TAIEX fell 0.44 percent.

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