Largan Precision Co (大立光) and Catcher Technology Co (可成) on Saturday reported rising revenue for last month from March, after most companies in the handset components sector reported weak first-quarter results amid the sluggish global smartphone market.
As leading suppliers in the global handset supply chain, the two companies’ revenue streams are closely monitored by market watchers to determine whether the smartphone market will follow expectations and show a recovery this quarter, or deteriorate faster than expected.
Handset camera lens maker Largan reported better-than-expected revenue for last month on the back of a continued improvement in yield rates and favorable product trends.
The Taichung-based company saw consolidated revenue reach NT$3.47 billion (US$116.8 million) last month, up 10.34 percent from the previous month.
Last month’s sales were still 6.02 percent lower than a year earlier, according to figures that Largan posted on its Web site on Saturday.
In the first four months of this year, consolidated revenue totaled NT$12.34 billion, down 14.84 percent from NT$14.5 billion during the same period last year.
The bright spot is that higher-priced lenses for cameras of 10 or more megapixels still made up a larger portion of shipments, accounting for 70 to 80 percent of the company’s overall shipments last month, while 8-megapixel products accounted for 10 to 20 percent and the 5-megapixel line contributed up to 10 percent, the company said.
Largan — whose customers include Apple Inc and several Android smartphone vendors — last month said it was upbeat about sales for this month and next month, compared with NT$3.14 billion in March, given the company’s efforts to improve production yield rates.
With potential strong demand for OLED iPhones in the second half of the year and the emerging adoption of triple-camera lenses by some handset vendors, as well as resilient prices and gross margin of the company’s products, Largan could see a year-on-year recovery in sales and operating profit from this month, Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) analyst Jeff Pu (蒲得宇) said in a note on Wednesday last week.
Pu said Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is expected to drive triple-camera lens adoption by introducing a lower-spec device for the Mate 20 model, while Apple is likely to launch a new iPhone model with a triple-lens rear camera in the second half of next year.
Assuming that other vendors would follow suit and therefore boost adoption of the triple-lens design, it could “provide a much-needed improvement in Largan’s capacity utilization rate,” Pu said.
Meanwhile, casing maker Catcher posted revenue of NT$6.6 billion for last month, a surge of 1.3 percent from the previous month and up 28.54 percent from the same period a year earlier.
Cumulative revenue in the first four months totaled NT$27.01 billion, a 36.99 percent annual increase from NT$19.72 billion, the Tainan-based company said.
Catcher also released its audited first-quarter results, which showed that net profit increased 75 percent year-on-year to NT$3.66 billion, the company’s highest level for the same period, with earnings per share of NT$4.75.
However, gross margin declined to 41.75 percent and operating margin to 32.6 percent, both the lowest levels since the second quarter of 2016, company data showed.
Earnings per share in the first quarter came lower than KGI Securities Investment Advisory Co’s (凱基投顧) estimate of NT$5.27 and a market consensus forecast of NT$6.7.
Analysts said ahead of the data release that Catcher’s sales would be particularly strong in the second half of this year, closely aligned with customers’ scheduled launches of new products.
“The company’s sales in the first quarter were affected by weak iPhone demand and sales in the second quarter could be affected by the delayed launch of a new MacBook Air model,” KGI researchers led by Angela Hsiang (向子慧) said in a note on Monday last week.
KGI predicted that sales in the second half would be 65 percent higher than in the first half, and that profit in the second half would grow 124 percent from the previous half.
Overall, Catcher is likely to maintain its lead over metal casing peers in terms of profitability this year, thanks to its highly automated production lines and in-house development of cutters, tooling, fixture and feeder parts, which would allow the company to enjoy lower manufacturing costs, while having the capability to rapidly increase short-term production with a high yield and efficiency rate, KGI said.
CLIENTS’ RIGHTS: Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Lin Chih-chi said the buyer and Citibank Taiwan would need to disclose changes to branch operations DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣), the local unit of Singapore-based DBS Group Holdings Ltd, has reportedly won a bid to acquire Citibank Taiwan Ltd’s (花旗台灣) consumer banking business, but the two companies declined to confirm the report yesterday. Citibank Taiwan’s consumer banking business is to be sold for about NT$60 billion (US$2.17 billion) to DBS Taiwan, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported on Sunday. DBS Taiwan and its parent company are expediting the negotiations with the seller’s US-based parent company, while other local bidders, including Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) and Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), have dropped their bids, the report said. Citibank
Intel Corp yesterday said it has placed its first order with ASML Holding NV to purchase the semiconductor industry’s first TWINSCAN EXE: 5200 system, as the US chip giant aims to compete with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in advancing to 2-nanometer process technology. The Dutch semiconductor equipment maker’s TWINSCAN EXE:5200 system is an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) high-volume production system with a high numerical aperture (NA) that can produce 220 wafers per hour, more than the 150 wafers that its previous generation TWINSCAN EXE:5000 system can handle. ASML aims to launch the new system in 2024. ASML president and chief
Siltronic AG cast doubt on a planned US$5.3 billion takeover by GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), saying the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action’s feedback so far was opaque and offered no clear resolution on how to win approval for the deal. During recent discussions, the companies did not receive any information as to whether and under which conditions a clearance for the takeover might be issued, the German company said in a regulatory filing on Friday following a news report on remedies the companies have offered. In the ministry’s view “in this case, a mitigation agreement is apparently not suitable
BELLWETHER COMPANY: A failed fundraiser at Country Garden, thus far unaffected by issues at Evergrande, is feared to prompt widespread repricing of developer stocks A crisis engulfing China’s property sector is affecting its biggest developer, with Country Garden Holdings Co’s (碧桂園) shares and bonds hammered amid fears that a reportedly failed fundraising effort might be a harbinger of waning confidence. Country Garden is one of the few remaining large, better-quality private developers that had been largely unscathed by the liquidity crunch, even as peers, such as Shimao Group Holdings Ltd (世茂集團), saw dramatic reversals in their credit ratings. The firm is viewed as a bellwether for contagion risk, as unprecedented levels of stress in the offshore credit market threaten to drag good credits down alongside bad