Macquarie raises Catcher following new HTC orders

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 - Page 13

Taiwanese metal casing supplier Catcher Technology Co (可成) is expected to revive its smartphone casing business next year, following new orders from HTC Corp (宏達電), Australia’s Macquarie Securities said recently in a report.

The brokerage upgraded the stock rating for Catcher to “outperform” from “neutral” and raised its target price to NT$185 from NT$131.

Daniel Chang (張博淇), an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities Ltd’s Taiwan branch, forecast a potential turnaround for Catcher’s metal casing business.

He said he expected HTC to adopt a full metal solution for its upcoming flagship smartphones during the first quarter of next year.

“Catcher should be a key supplier for these models,” Chang wrote in a report released on Thursday. “We believe the contribution to Catcher’s bottom line from these new models will be much higher than the [HTC’s] previous One Series.”

HTC accounted for only 10 percent of Catcher’s revenue during the fourth quarter of this year due to the company’s limited array of metal casing models, Chang said.

He said he also expected Catcher’s revenue stemming from HTC to rise “significantly” in the first half of next year, following certain strategic changes taking place at HTC.

For other product orders, Chang believed Apple Inc’s iPad mini tablet and MacBook computers’ casing demand might see a sequential growth during the first quarter of next year, owing to robust demand and easy supply.

Although it is not one of Catcher’s biggest customers, Research In Motion (RIM) was likely to launch two new devices based on its new BlackBerry 10 platform, in which case Catcher might continue supplying stainless steel cases to the company from the first quarter of next year, he said.

This also implied that Catcher’s sales revenue growth would be flat sequentially in the first quarter of next year, compared with Wall Street’s expectation of a 10 percent drop, Chang said.

Catcher shares gained 2.97 percent and closed at NT$138.5 in Taipei on Friday.