Barclays Capital on Wednesday upgraded its target price for Catcher Technology Co (可成科技) shares, saying that the metal casings supplier would benefit from expectations that Apple Inc will launch a new version of its iPhone later this year.
Barclays raised its target price on Catcher shares to NT$300 from NT$235, while leaving its “overweight” recommendation on the stock unchanged.
Barclays said it expects Apple’s next-generation smartphone to be launched in the second half of the year and that shipments of the new model will be 35 to 40 percent higher than the previous one.
Catcher is likely to receive between 10 and 20 percent of the casing orders for the new iPhone, which should help lift its earnings in the second half of the year, Barclays said in a report.
Apple currently accounts for about 40 percent of Catcher’s total revenue.
Barclays said that the Taiwanese firm could also benefit from solid demand from its Chinese customers as China remains a fast growing smartphone market.
The report said that due to tight supply, Catcher is likely to increase its production capacity by between 20 and 40 percent in the second half of the year through the addition of 2,000 to 4,000 computer numerical control machines.
Barclays said Catcher is expected to post NT$3.8 in earnings per share for the first quarter, compared with NT$4.62 in earnings per share the previous quarter due to slow-season effects.
However, it projected Catcher’s earnings per share for the whole year to reach NT$20, up from NT$18.38 last year, adding that the figure could continue to rise to NT$26.13 next year.
The anticipated launch of larger iPhone models later this year should benefit Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) because many smaller iPhones in circulation will likely be replaced, brokerage CLSA Ltd said.
Sales of the new iPhone 6 should be booming once it is launched because 225 million older iPhones will be up for replacement over the iPhone 6’s life cycle from September this year to August next year, CLSA head of technology research Nicolas Baratte said.
Of those 225 million older iPhones, 131 million are 3.5-inch models such as the iPhone 4S, the brokerage said.
“We concur that the launch of larger iPhones [4.7” and 5.5”] should trigger a larger replacement cycle as we believe that many smartphone users favor a display size of 4.5” or larger,” Baratte wrote in a note to clients on April 13.
The high volume of iPhone 6 shipments should increase Hon Hai’s operating margin to 3.1 percent this year from 2.8 percent last year, and company is also expected to more tightly control its working capital and improve its cash flow, he said.
On the back of its improved finances and the upcoming iPhone 6’s product cycle, Baratte upgraded his rating on Hon Hai shares from “underperform” to “outperform,” setting a price target of NT$96.50.
Hon Hai, the main assembler of Apple devices and the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronic goods, posted consolidated sales of NT$883 billion (US$29.27 billion) in the first quarter of the year, down 33.5 percent from the previous quarter due to the slow season, but up 9.15 percent year-on-year.
DEJA VU: Echoing the probe into real-estate giant Evergrande Group, the bank is under Beijing police scrutiny after last week, telling investors it is ‘severely insolvent’ Chinese authorities said they recently opened criminal investigations into Zhongzhi Enterprise Group Co’s (中植企業) money management business, days after the embattled shadow banking giant revealed a shortfall of US$36.4 billion in its balance sheet. Police in Beijing said in a statement on WeChat that they took “criminal mandatory measures” against multiple suspects, identifying one by their last name, Xie (解). They urged investors to report cases or provide leads to the authorities, including filing complaints online. Xie Zhikun (解直錕), the group’s founder, died in 2021, but several of his relatives are executives at the company. The statement did not elaborate on what
CONSIDERATIONS: The NSTC instructed the park to assist laid-off workers and urge companies to use furlough programs to ease the effects of falling demand Firms in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), which houses major tech companies, reported laying off 496 employees last month amid weakened global demand, Hsinchu Science Park Bureau director-general Wayne Wang (王永壯) said yesterday. Wang told a news conference that 48 companies in the science park laid off employees last month, including one hard disk supplier which let go 241 employees as part of a plant closure due to falling demand. Other companies reported sporadic layoffs as they adjusted to weakening demand, he said. Wang made the remarks after local media reported the layoffs over the weekend. Although the global economy is struggling with high
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest multilayer ceramic capacitor supplier, said that it had acquired France-based Schneider Electric’s sensor business in a deal worth about 723 million euros (US$788.26 million). The acquisition of Telemecanique Sensors early this month matched Yageo’s shift in strategy to offer premium products, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. Yageo expects the deal to broaden its product portfolio and raise its gross margin substantially next year, given that Telemecanique Sensors focuses on making higher-margin chips for industrial devices, the company told investors during an online conference on Oct. 26. Yageo’s gross margin fell to 33.2 percent last
NEW TREAD: The Taiwanese shoe brand paired with TSMC to turn silicon waste into a circular economy good, following its success making shoes from coffee grounds Ccilu International Inc (馳綠國際), a Taiwan-based footwear brand, has become the first company in the world to turn silicon waste from contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) into eco-friendly shoes. Last year, the global footwear industry saw the first pair of pressure-relief slippers made from recycled silicon waste by Ccilu. The brand continued to unveil follow-up collections, including sports shoes and massage slippers made from the same materials. In an interview with CNA, Ccilu CEO Wilson Hsu (許佳鳴) recalled the company’s innovation of the first pair of slippers made from silicon waste after its silicon waste treatment partner, Semisils Applied Materials