AU Optronics expecting a profitable Q2 as stock rises

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 - Page 14

AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) is expected to report that it turned a profit in the second quarter of this year after a recovery in the global flat-screen market, analysts said yesterday.

They said the company could report a net profit of between NT$500 million and NT$1 billion (US$16.7 million and US$33.4 million) for the period from April to last month on better-than-expected sales for the quarter.

The flat-panel maker is scheduled to hold an investors’ conference today to release its second-quarter results.

On July 9, the company announced that consolidated sales for the second quarter rose 19.2 percent from the first quarter to NT$112.34 billion on better-than-expected shipments of TV panels, and small and medium-sized screens.

The firm’s second-quarter sales were also up 18 percent from the same period a year earlier, the company said.

Ahead of today’s investors’ conference, shares of AUO rose 2.34 percent to close at NT$10.95 with 56.02 million shares changing hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, while the benchmark index closed up 0.97 percent at 8,163.55 points.

Analysts said AUO’s core flat-panel operations turned profitable in the first quarter, but losses incurred in its solar energy division plunged the company into the red once more.

They said that while its solar energy operations remained unprofitable in the second quarter, the losses narrowed, which boosted the firm’s overall bottom line for the period.

Local rival Innolux Corp (群創光電) is expected to report a profit for the second quarter in a row after turning profitable in the first quarter, snapping a 10-quarter losing streak, analysts said, adding that the company could report about NT$3 billion in net profit for the period from April to last month.

In the first quarter of the year, Innolux posted earnings per share of NT$0.19, compared with NT$1.75 in losses per share recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.

Shares of Innolux rose 1.14 percent to close at NT$13.35 on trading volume of 19.13 million shares in Taipei yesterday.

Despite the likelihood of reporting a profitable second quarter, analysts said that the two major Taiwanese flat-panel makers are facing falling TV screen prices this month and that the trend of weakening prices could continue into next month due to inventory adjustments after buyers aggressively built up their inventory levels.