Largan Precision Co (大立光), which supplies camera lenses for Apple Inc’s iPhones and iPads, yesterday reported that its sales fell 34.07 percent to NT$1.6 billion (US$52.83 million) last month from January due to seasonal factors.
However, the figure marks 30.08 percent growth from NT$1.23 billion a year ago, in line with the company’s expectation of two straight months of annual expansion.
“The sales decline from January was because of fewer working days last month during the Lunar New Year holidays,” Largan investor relations official Josephine Huang (黃印嘉) said by telephone.
However, the year-on-year increase indicates a still strong demand for smartphones, she said.
Up to 85 percent of Largan’s camera lens products shipped last month were used in smartphones, with the remaining 15 percent going to tablets, Huang said.
In terms of pixel count, shipments of camera modules with resolutions of more than 10 megapixels accounted for between 10 and 20 percent of Largan’s total shipments last month, while those with resolutions of 8 megapixels accounted for between 30 and 40 percent.
Shipments of 5-megapixel modules accounted for 20 to 30 percent of its total shipments last month, and 1-megapixel products made up between 10 and 20 percent of shipments, she said.
“We expect sales to take off this month, but total sales this quarter might drop from a record high of NT$9.03 billion last quarter because of seasonal factors,” Huang said.
JPMorgan Securities analyst William Chen (陳威元) said that Largan’s sales this quarter would “very likely” beat his estimate of NT$6.7 billion, given that the company’s cumulative sales for the first two months had amounted to NT$4 billion, up 15.87 percent from the same period last year.
RISING SELLING PRICES
After securing orders from new clients other than Apple and as more top or second-tier smartphone brands adopt higher-resolution camera lenses for their products, Largan may see revenue grow higher in the following quarters because the pixel migration trend helps lift the average selling prices of its products, he added.
Potential drivers of Largan’s average selling prices also include the company’s new high-end optical zoom lens products, which are scheduled to be shipped in the fourth quarter and which will be used in smartphones, Chen said.
Largan’s shares closed up 0.72 percent at NT$1,390 yesterday, remaining the highest-priced stock in the local market. They have risen 70.55 percent over the past 12 months, compared with the TAIEX’s 8.83 percent increase over the same period.