Hyundai still in doldrums
South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co posted its 10th consecutive sequential decline in profits in the second quarter and warned of a tough second half, as it soaks up stiff competition and shrinking demand for its mainstay sedans in the US. The world’s fifth-biggest automaker, together with affiliate Kia Motors, yesterday said its April-to-June net profit slipped 2.6 percent year-on-year to 1.66 trillion won (US$1.46 billion). That was just below a consensus forecast of 1.67 trillion won from a Reuters poll of 19 analysts. Over the past couple of years, the automaker has bet on new versions of former hit sedans to help it reverse out of its long-term profit slowdown. To offset the sedan weakness, Hyundai vice president in charge of investor relations Koo Za-yong said that the firm has started production of Santa Fe sport utility vehicles at its plant in Alabama, targeting annual output of 50,000 vehicles.
SK Hynix profit slumps
SK Hynix Inc, a supplier of memory chips to Apple Inc, posted a slump in second-quarter profit, as semiconductor prices dropped on slack demand for smartphones and PCs. Operating income fell 67 percent to 452.9 billion won in the three months ending June, the Icheon, South Korea-based company said. That compares with a projection of 454.3 billion on average by analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Deteriorating demand for smartphones saw the average selling price of benchmark DDR3 4-gigabit DRAM chips drop to US$1.58 in the second quarter, a year-on-year decline of 47 percent, according to InSpectrum Tech Inc. SK Hynix forecast that demand for DRAM chips would surge in the current quarter, driven by new handsets. Apple, Hynix’s biggest customer, typically releases new iPhones in September.
Texas upbeat on profit
Texas Instruments Inc, the largest maker of analog semiconductors, forecast sales and profit that might beat analysts’ estimates on stronger orders for chips used in cars and industrial machinery. Third-quarter net income would be between US$0.81 and US$0.91 per share, the Dallas, Texas-based company said in a statement on Monday. Sales would be US$3.34 billion to US$3.62 billion, it predicted. Those forecasts compare with average analyst estimates of US$0.81 per share on sales of US$3.38 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the second quarter, Texas Instruments’ net income rose to US$779 million, or US$0.76 per share, from US$696 million, or US$0.65, in the same period last year. Revenue rose 1.3 percent to US$3.27 billion, the firm said. Analysts on average had projected net income of US$0.73 per share on sales of US$3.2 billion.
BP posts 45% profit slump
BP PLC posted a 45 percent slump in earnings, as oil production barely broke even and profits from refining sputtered. The UK firm said adjusted profit fell to US$720 million from US$1.3 billion in the same period last year, missing analysts’ estimates. Weak refining margins weighed on downstream results. BP’s earnings signal trouble for the world’s major energy producers, which relied on refining profits last year to weather crude’s collapse. While BP CEO Bob Dudley continues to rein in spending, he faces a difficult road ahead as debts climb and oil’s rally fades amid slowing demand growth and returning production from Canada to Nigeria. The company’s top global competitors report later this week.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and