HSBC Securities Taiwan last week upgraded HTC Corp’s (宏達電) stock to “overweight” from “underweight” on the back of better sales prospects for the company’s latest high-end smartphone.
The absence of a new iPhone from Apple Inc would also help HTC in its bid to expand its market share this quarter with its new HTC One model and other products, HSBC analyst Yolanda Wang (王郁雅) said in a report on Friday.
“We do not expect Apple to launch a new large-screen phone in 2013, which would leave room for other brands offering such phones to gain market share,” Wang said.
Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) last week said it did not think it was likely that Apple would launch its next-generation iPhone before September because of delays in the shipping of components.
The US company would most likely begin pilot production of its new phone in late August, the brokerage said.
“We believe that production of the iPhone 5S has been postponed and is now scheduled to begin on Sept. 13,” CLSA’s Nicolas Baratte wrote in a note on Wednesday.
Data compiled by the International Data Corp (IDC) showed that Samsung Electronics Co remained the world’s largest smartphone vendor in the first quarter of the year, shipping 70.7 million units for a 32.7 percent market share, with Apple in second place with 37.4 million units shipped and a 17.3 percent market share.
Like other foreign brokerages who expect strong demand for the new HTC One, HSBC said it believed that HTC has improved supply chain issues and solved its component shortage problem.
Wang forecast that the Taiwanese firm’s new 4.7-inch flagship model would account for about 50 percent of its shipments this quarter and 25 percent for the year.
Predicting a strong pickup in HTC sales starting this quarter, HSBC raised its forecast for the company’s earnings per share this year by 4 percent to NT$19.34 and retained its estimate of NT$23.24 in earnings per share for next year.
The brokerage also raised its target price on HTC stock to NT$326 from NT$140.
HTC shares ended 1.6 percent lower on Friday at NT$277.50 on the local bourse.
Additional reporting by CNA