Taiwan's HTC forecasts first-quarter loss

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: Taiwan's struggling smartphone manufacturer HTC forecast a first-quarter net loss of up to Tw$3.1bn (US$102.4m) due to weak sales of new flagship products.
HTC has been hurt by falling sales, recording a loss in the first quarter of this year. Image:
HTC has been hurt by falling sales, recording a loss in the first quarter of this year. Image: HTCPedia
HTC expects revenues of between Tw$34bn and Tw$36bn for the three months to March, a fall from Tw$42.8bn a year earlier, the company said at an earnings conference.

The predicted sales compare with revenues of Tw$49.2bn in the fourth quarter of 2013.

In the three months to June last year the company reported its first quarterly loss, at Tw$3bn, but swung back to profitability in the fourth with a net profit of Tw$310m.

Chief financial officer Chang Chia-lin said he anticipated the company's sales to slump in February before picking up in March and, as the company gained momentum, improving from the launch of new products in the second quarter.

"If they can get one or two new models to sell reasonably well, they could return in the second quarter to the level they were at a year earlier," said Barclays analyst Dale Gai.

"That's still low compared with previous years, but it's a different landscape now," Gai said.

The Taiwanese firm held a 4.6% share of the global smartphone market in 2012, sharply down from 8.8% a year earlier.

Samsung held a 30.3% stake while Apple had 19.1%, according to research firm IDC.

As part of its efforts to boost sales, HTC has launched a range of mid-tier smartphones as analysts warn of waning demand for high-end gadgets.

Source: AFP via I-net Bridge


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