Tue, May 14, 2019 - Page 12 News List

HannStar says it returned to profit

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶), a supplier of small and medium-sized panels, yesterday said it returned to profit last quarter, becoming the only local panelmaker to do so in the period.

The company attributed the performance to its strategic shift away from the mobile phone segment and increases in panel prices.

Net profit was NT$180 million (US$5.79 million) in the January-to-March period, compared with losses of NT$1.21 billion in the final quarter of last year. On an annual basis, net profit tumbled 79.38 percent from NT$873 million.

That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.06, improving from losses per share of NT$0.37 a quarter earlier, but down from earnings per share of NT$0.27 a year earlier.

Gross margin was 11 percent, up from minus-24 percent in the prior quarter, but down from 30 percent in the first quarter of last year.

“Demand rebounded in the first quarter from a panic slump triggered by the US-China trade war in the fourth quarter,” HannStar spokesman Justin Chien (簡宏毅) said by telephone.

The recovery is to gain strength this quarter following a “sizable shipment growth” that began in March, while revenue last month rose 0.05 percent annually to NT$1.38 billion, which was the first annual growth in 10 months, Chien said.

“We are optimistic about the second-quarter outlook, as demand and panel prices both show more signs of stability,” he said.

First-quarter shipments contracted 8.2 percent to 3.83 million units from 4.17 million units in the prior quarter, the company said.

Average selling prices jumped 12 percent to US$28 per unit, from US$25 in the previous quarter, but down from US$40 a year earlier, it said.

TV panel prices were last quarter under heavier price pressure than small and medium-sized panels, as Chinese makers ramped up new fabs, Chien said.

HannStar has diversified to less volatile segments, such as industrial devices and automobile displays, from mobile phone displays, which contributed 41 percent to total revenue last quarter, down from 42 percent in the previous quarter and 61 percent a year earlier, the company said.

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