TPK Holdings Co (宸鴻), one of Apple Inc’s major touch-panel suppliers, yesterday said net profits last quarter surged to a record high of NT$5.22 billion, or NT$15.27 per share, as demand for the touch-panels used in tablets and notebooks rose.
That brought the company’s full-year net profits last year to hit another record high of NT$13.82 billion, or NT$42.24 a share, which fell short of most analysts’ forecasts.
Jeff Pu (蒲得宇), an LCD industry analyst at Taipei-based Fubon Securities (富邦證券), forecast that TPK would earn NT$17 per share in the fourth quarter of last year and NT$43.8 per share for the whole year.
Pu blamed higher-than-expected income tax for the disappointing results. TPK booked NT$2.92 billion in income tax for last quarter.
However, TPK’s 71.9 percent quarterly net profit last quarter reflected demand for touch screens from mobile gadgets, such as tablets or touchable notebooks, were strong, Pu said by telephone yesterday.
Pu forecast TPK’s sales would reach record high level this year by expanding 10 percent to 15 percent year-on-year.
TPK’s revenues grew by 21.1 percent to NT$173.66 billion last year from NT$143.34 billion the previous year.
TPK president David Sun (孫大明) yesterday told investors he forecast sales this quarter would decline by about 25 percent quarter-on-quarter to between NT$45 billion and NT$47 billion because of fewer working days and because of clients’ inventory adjustments.
The 25 percent drop in revenue would still allow TPK to post between 11.17 percent and 16.11 percent year-on-year growth this quarter, from NT$40.48 billion in the first qurater of last year, which Sun described as “a much better-than-expected beginning of a year.”
Sun said he was “full of confidence” about TPK’s profitability this year, citing DisplaySearch’s forecast that tablet shipments are expected to grow at a 25.3 percent compound annual growth rate between last year and 2015 and that touch-screen notebook shipments are likely to increase by up to 167 percent during the same period.
Sun said TPK plans to expand its customer base to 50 clients this year from 40 last year to diversify its customer portfolio, in which Apple is currently the company’s largest client contributing 58 percent of TPK’s total shipments.
TPK yesterday said it plans to increase capital expenditure to NT$30 billion on facilities and equipment expansion, doubling last year’s expenditure of NT$15 billion.
The company originally planned to spend as much capital as last year on new equipment.
Sun told investors that his company would continue adopting mass customizing strategy this year to meet clients’ diverse demand, such as upgrading products with touch-screen panel equipped technologies or expanding panel sizes to fit enhanced resolution technology.
Panels ranging in size from 7 inches to 11 inches accounted for 62 percent of sales last quarter, followed by panels in less than 7 inches at 26 percent, and panels of between 11 and 16 inches at 7 percent, TPK said.
TPK said it shipped a total of 98 million units of smaller size panels and up to 60 million units of larger-than-7-inch panels last year, up 1.03 percent and 76.47 percent respectively from the previous year.