Mon, Feb 05, 2018 - Page 15 News List

Flexium sees best quarterly earnings since going public

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Flexium Interconnect Inc (台郡), a major supplier of flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs) for Apple Inc’s products, last week delivered its strongest quarterly earnings since being listed on the nation’s main board in 2003, despite the New Taiwan dollar’s appreciation.

The Kaohsiung-based company on Tuesday reported that net income in the fourth quarter grew 34.1 percent to NT$1.38 billion (US$47.2 million) from NT$1.03 billion the previous year, as a marked expansion in sales helped offset the negative effect of rising operating expenses and non-operating items.

Earnings per share (EPS) were NT$4.46, compared with NT$3.66 for the same period a year earlier, the company’s statement showed.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 74.29 percent to NT$10.75 billion from NT$6.17 billion in the same period the previous year, while operating income increased 56.91 percent to NT$1.64 billion from NT$1.05 billion, the statement said.

The company’s gross margin fell from 23.6 percent to 19.9 percent and its operating margin dropped from 17 percent to 15.3 percent, due to a greater number of wireless charger modules produced at lower margins, it said.

Foreign-exchange losses resulting from the New Taiwan dollar’s appreciation against the US dollar totaled NT$19 million in the fourth quarter, Flexium said, but added that the figures were better than expected.

Full-year net income totaled NT$3.06 billion, up 34.36 percent from NT$2.28 billion in 2016, with EPS rising from NT$8.42 to NT$10.07, a new high, it said.

Flexium last year saw revenue rise 35.35 percent to NT$25.85 billion from NT$19.1 billion, with its communications segment making up 82 percent of contributions, computers 12 percent and consumer electronics 6 percent.

Flexium chairman Walter Cheng (鄭明智) said he is optimistic about the outlook for this quarter, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported on Wednesday.

With a broader customer base and diversified products, including new FPCB applications in wireless chargers, “smart” speakers and automotive electronics, revenue this year could increase by double digits from last year, he said.

Flexium aims to produce high-end products and extend its lead in the FPCB industry by spending NT$9.4 billion in capital expenditures this year and next year, compared with NT$2.4 billion last year, chief financial officer Arthur Hsiung (熊雅士) said.

The company is constructing plants in Kaohsiung and in Kunshan, China, Hsiung said, adding that both plants are expected to start mass production next year.

The company has invested in the next-generation 25μm fine line and is poised to enter the antenna supply chain, which has significant entry barriers, but better average selling prices, analysts have said.

Flexium’s overall revenue for this year is forecast to increase 14.1 percent to NT$29.48 billion, with an expected net income of NT$3.6 billion, with EPS of NT$11.31, Jih Sun Securities Investment Consulting Co (日盛投顧) said in a note on Wednesday.

Flexium shares on Friday rose 3.14 percent to close at NT$115 in Taipei trading. The company’s shares have risen about 21.2 percent over the past year, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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