Sat, Sep 08, 2018 - Page 12 News List

HTC shares plunge as firm reports 53.7% sales decline

Staff writer, with CNA

HTC Corp’s (宏達電) shares plunged below NT$40 in Taipei trading yesterday, the lowest since the company’s initial public offering on March 26, 2002, after it reported poor sales last month.

The heavy downward pressure reflected weak sentiment toward the company as many investors seemed to have little faith that HTC will get out of the doldrums as competition in the global smartphone market escalates, dealers said.

The stock was down 6.56 percent at its closing price of NT$39.9, underperforming the TAIEX’s 0.71 percent decline to 10,846.99 points.

On Thursday, HTC reported sales of NT$1.39 billion (US$45.17 million) last month, the lowest since August 2003.

Sales were down 53.72 percent from the same month last year and 0.78 percent from a month earlier.

In the first eight months of the year, HTC’s consolidated sales were NT$18.35 billion, down 53.96 percent from last year.

Dealers said that although HTC has intensified efforts to penetrate the global virtual-reality (VR) market, its VR operations have failed to significantly boost overall sales.

Last week, HTC said it would launch its latest mid-range model — the HTC U12 Life — in Taiwan next month and it hoped the phone would help the company secure alternative sales.

Faced with worsening financial results, HTC in early July announced it would lay off 1,500 employees, or about 25 percent of its global workforce.

The layoffs are expected to be completed by the end of the month, with manufacturing activities in Taiwan seeing the largest decline.

In the second quarter, HTC incurred NT$2.09 billion in net losses, or losses of NT$2.53 per share, compared with NT$25.70 in earnings per share in the first quarter.

The first-quarter profit came after HTC sold its smartphone ODM assets to Google for US$1.1 billion.

Yesterday’s closing price was just a small fraction of the NT$1,300 that HTC shares hit in late April 2011 — the most expensive stock listed in Taiwan at the time.

Last year, HTC incurred net losses of NT$16.91 billion, or losses per share of NT$20.58, the worst in the company’s history.

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