Sat, Jun 22, 2019 - Page 12 News List

HTC shareholders approve issuance of NT$0.38 dividend

Staff writer, with CNA

Shareholders at HTC Corp’s (宏達電) annual general meeting yesterday approved a company proposal to issue a cash dividend of NT$0.38 per share based on its earnings from last year, its first dividend payout in four years.

HTC last year posted a net profit of NT$12 billion (US$385.2 million), compared with a net loss of NT$16.91 billion in 2017, ending a three-year losing streak.

It had earnings per share (EPS) of NT$14.72 last year, compared with losses per share of NT$20.58 the previous year.

However, last year’s results were not because of an improvement in its core business amid escalating competition in the global smartphone market, but because the company recorded one-time earnings from the US$1 billion sale of its smartphone original design manufacturer assets to Google Inc, which lifted its first-quarter EPS to NT$25.7.

In the following three quarters, HTC incurred a net loss and no earnings from its core business.

Some minority shareholders at the meeting complained about the poor bottom line, with HTC’s share price plunging from a high of NT$1,400 in April 2011.

HTC shares yesterday rose 0.27 percent to close at NT$37.2 in Taipei, a roughly 97 percent plunge from the peak.

Shareholders urged HTC’s management to boost profitability by turning its core business around.

Otherwise, their returns would continue to shrink after having poured funds into HTC shares in recent years, they said.

They did not want to see HTC go into the red again, they said.

HTC chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) said that like all of them, she has also invested a lot into HTC, so the company has to be profitable.

She has faith in the firm as state-of-the-art technologies develop, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence and 5G applications, Wang said.

After a management reshuffle early last year, when Wang took over as chief executive officer, HTC’s operations have stabilized, she said, adding that she is confident the firm would grow in a stable manner.

Before the dividend payout was approved, some shareholders had asked the company to issue higher dividends, but HTC chief financial officer Peter Shen (沈道邦) said that it needed to keep funds on hand for investment and technology innovation.

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