Camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co (大立光) yesterday forecast sales would be flat this month, following a significant year-on-year decline in revenues in the first quarter.
“We expect this month’s sales to be flat or lower than last month’s NT$3.02 billion [US$93.27 million], due to seasonal factors and weak demand from many clients,” a Largan investor relations official said by telephone.
The company’s revenue fell 21.73 percent to NT$8.7 billion in the first quarter from NT$10.56 billion in the same period last year, falling short of Morgan Stanley’s estimate of NT$9.61 billion.
The figure is a 46.43 percent plunge from NT$15.44 billion in the final quarter of last year, according to a company filings with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
“The result is in line with our expectation that demand in the first quarter of this year would be softer than in the same period last year,” the official said.
Revenue for the first quarter of last year dropped 37.25 percent from the previous quarter, company data showed.
It seems that the impact of the slow season has not come to an end yet, with demand from many Largan clients — including Apple Inc — remaining weak this month, the official said.
Some clients have made shipment requests for upcoming launches of smartphones, but they are rather conservative, she said.
The official declined to offer a sales forecast for this quarter, citing poor order visibility in the smartphone industry.
“Order visibility for next month is unclear at the moment,” she said.
Largan is scheduled to host a conference with investors and analysts in the middle of this month to offer its outlook for this quarter.
Largan maintains the view that the adoption of dual-camera lenses in smartphones would gradually build momentum this year, which is expected to benefit the company in the longer term, the official said.
Largan chief executive officer Adam Lin (林恩平) in January said that more than one of the firm’s clients would adopt dual-camera lenses in their products this year, while several other clients would continue upgrading specifications of camera lenses.
Industry watchers have said that the adoption of dual-camera lenses would not only help narrow the image quality gap with single-lens-reflex cameras — for example by providing optical zoom and low-light functions — but would also allow developers to design game-changing apps, such as an augmented-reality enabler and facial recognition.
As global handset makers’ adoption of dual-camera lenses is expected to become more evident from the second half, revenue from dual-camera lenses would contribute 9 percent to Largan’s total revenue this year and account for 35 percent by next year, Morgan Stanley predicted last month.
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