Taiwan's major makers of flat-panel screens for computers and televisions, led by AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), yesterday posted an across-the-board recovery in sales for last month as computer vendors increase purchase spending in expectation of the Christmas shopping spree.
\nIndustry analysts nonetheless expressed doubt that the growth could be sustained, as the increase in sales and shipments merely represents a rebound stemming from seasonal demand, not solid demand from end users.
\nChi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), Taiwan's second-largest maker of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), yesterday announced that its consolidated sales inched up 0.6 percent to NT$9.37 billion (US$277 million) last month from August.
\n"Better September results at most indicate that vendors are piling up stocks in preparation for the year-end buying season, rather than providing sufficient proof that demand from end users is picking up," said Tim Chen (陳建光), an analyst with CLSA Ltd in Taipei.
\nAlthough LCD panel prices plunged more than 30 percent in the past three months in comparison with the previous quarter, Chen said that the drastic price cuts have not yet filtered through to consumers in North America, the world's biggest computer market.
\nA 17-inch LCD monitor is currently priced at between US$350 and US$420, which is far above the sweet point of US$320, he said.
\nNonetheless, AU Optronics shares advanced 1.35 percent to NT$45.2 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
\nThe recovery spread to the rest of the nation's LCD suppliers after the AU Optronics, the world's third-largest flat-panel supplier, posted better-than-expected sales figures for last month.
\nAU Optronics said on Thursday that sales climbed 15 percent to around NT$12.93 billion last month from the previous month, rever-sing a discouraging 23-percent monthly decline in August.
\nAlong with sales growth, shipments of larger panels for computers and TVs also increased by 24.5 percent over August to 590,000 units, AU Optronics said.
\nKen Yu (
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