Catcher Technology Co improves performance

INCREASED DEMAND::New smartphone designs with metal cases are having positive knock-on effects for metal casing manufacturer Catcher Technology Co

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - Page 14

Metal casing manufacturer Catcher Technology Co (可成科技) yesterday reported that sales reached NT$2 billion (US$68.88 million) last month, up 49 percent month-on-month, but down 8.01 percent year-on-year, supported by strong demand for HTC Corp’s (宏達電) and Apple Inc’s newly launched products.

In a filing submitted to Taiwan Stock Exchange, Catcher said that sales of its aluminum-magnesium alloy products produced NT$2 billion last month, while its rental revenue totaled NT$1.53 million. After deducting sales returns and discounts, which amounted to NT$10.42 million, Catcher said it made NT$2 billion in sales last month.

For the whole of last year, sales totaled NT$11.74 billion, a 29.15 percent decrease in comparison to the NT$16.57 billion made in 2011, the Yongkang District (永康), Greater Tainan-based company said.

On a consolidated basis, revenue stood at NT$3.76 billion last month, up 21.29 percent from NT$3.1 billion in November and a 15.66 percent increase compared with NT$3.25 billion from a year ago, Catcher said.

Total consolidated revenue for last year amounted to NT$37.03 billion, up 3.1 percent from NT$35.91 billion for the previous year, the company said.

“Catcher’s sales result was better than expected. The growth is likely to be sustained this year, supported by strong demand for Apple’s new iPhone 5 smartphone and iPad Mini tablet, which are both equipped with metal cases,” Green Wu (吳積霖), assistant vice president at Hua Nan Securities Investment Management (華南永昌投顧), said by telephone.

Wu said Catcher’s sales underperformed last year mainly because HTC, one of its major clients, chose to use polycarbonate materials, not metal, to design the case of its HTC One and HTC Butterfly flagship smartphone series.

However, as HTC is set to launch a brand new flagship smartphone series next month –– rumored as “M7” –– that will have a unibody metal-cased design, Wu forecast Catcher’s sales would continue to grow and are likely to achieve a high growth rate if major smartphone brands follow HTC’s lead to design more metal-cased smartphone models this year.

Mega Investment Trust Corp (兆豐國際投信) senior analyst Kevin Hsu (許鈞雄) said Catcher’s near-term performance would depends on HTC’s and Apple’s product strategies.

“In the short term, Catcher is expected to sustain its sales growth momentum through the second quarter because the market still has strong demand for the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, but it is hard to tell whether there would be a huge demand for metal-cased smartphones. Sales of HTC’s new ‘M7’ series could be an index,” Hsu said.

Catcher’s shares closed up 1.02 percent at NT$149 in Taipei trading yesterday, outperforming the broader market, which fell 0.39 percent. Over the last year, Catcher’s shares rose 2.49 percent, the stock exchange’s data showed.