Firm sells set-top box unit
Chipmaker Sunplus Technology Co (凌陽科技) on Tuesday said it would book a gain of NT$325 million (US$10.3 million) from selling its unprofitable set-top box chip unit to Beijing-based Availink Inc (中天聯科) for NT$330 million. As part of the deal, Sunplus is to subscribe to Availink’s new-share issue for NT$295 million, which will give it a 16.67 percent stake in the company, it said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The set-top-box business unit accounted for 10 to 15 percent of Sunplus’ total revenue last year, but posted a loss of NT$200 million. After the transaction is completed this quarter, Sunplus would lay off some engineers at the set-top-box division and focus on high-margin chips for cars, it said.
PC shipments fall 6.3%
PC shipments in the Asia-Pacific market excluding Japan fell by a slower 6.3 percent to 101 million units last year, following a 10.3 percent drop in 2013, International Data Corp (IDC) data showed. In the fourth quarter alone, shipments were flat year-on-year at 25.9 million units, slightly higher than the IDC’s forecasts. Acer Inc (宏碁), whose PC shipments contracted 14 percent year-on-year, accounted for 7.5 percent of the Asia-Pacific market, ranking it fourth. Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), whose shipments edged down 0.7 percent year-on-year, had a market share of 7.3 percent, the fifth best in the region.
Samsung to use own chips
Samsung Electronics Co is set to use its own microprocessors in the next version of the Galaxy S smartphone, people with direct knowledge of the matter said yesterday. Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, tested a new version of Qualcomm Inc’s Snapdragon chip, known as the 810, and decided not to use it, the sources said. The new Galaxy S would be equipped with Samsung’s most advanced chips, one of the people said. The South Korean company is trying to become more self-reliant and boost its own processor-making division as it spends US$15 billion on a new factory outside Seoul.
Uni-President outlook ‘solid’
As polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin prices have fallen by 35 percent this year, Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業) is expected to see significant cost savings — especially its China operations — and therefore margin improvement, Barclays Capital Securities Taiwan Ltd said in a note on Tuesday. Along with reduced foreign-exchange risks and potential market share gains in the nation’s fresh milk segment, Uni-President’s profit growth outlook for this year appears solid, Barclays Capital said, reiterating its “overweight” rating on the stock with a price target of NT$64.8.
Citigroup bullish on AUO
Citigroup has revised upward its earnings forecasts for AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) by between 59 percent and 63 percent for this year and next year, citing the company’s continuous margin expansion. Citigroup Global Markets analyst Arthur Lai (賴昱璋) said in a client note on Tuesday that AUO’s gross margin would rise to 14.8 percent and 15.4 percent this year and next year respectively, while its earnings per share could grow 54 percent year-on-year this year and 13 percent next year, given stronger panel demand leading to higher utilization rates, as well as an improving product mix and greater cost reductions. Citigroup raised its price target to NT$23 from NT$19, with a “buy” rating.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to