For­eign op­ti­mism boosts Her­mes Mi­cro­vi­sion shares

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS -

Shares of Her­mes Mi­cro­vi­sion Inc. (

), a lead­ing Tai­wan-based semi­con­duc­tor in­spec­tion tool and equip­ment sup­plier, moved sharply higher Thurs­day with gains ex­tended from a ses­sion ear­lier on the back of for­eign in­sti­tu­tional op­ti­mism to­ward the com­pany’s earn­ings prospects, deal­ers said.

The up­turn en­joyed by Her­mes, the sec­ond-most ex­pen­sive stock in the lo­cal mar­ket, even topped gains posted by smart­phone cam­era lens maker Lar­gan Pre­ci­sion Co. ( ), the most ex­pen­sive stock, as the semi­con­duc­tor equip­ment sup­plier played catch-up, the deal­ers said.

The buy­ing in Her­mes shares showed that in­vestors have high hopes about its earn­ings prospects af­ter a Euro­pean bro­ker­age raised its tar­get price on the stock to NT$2,600 (US$83.60) from NT$2,000, the high­est among for­eign bro­ker­ages so far, and main­tained an “over­weight” rat­ing.

Shares of Her­mes closed up 7 per­cent, the max­i­mum daily in­crease, to close at NT$2,160, a new high in the com­pany’s his­tory, with 529,000 shares chang­ing hands on the over-the-counter (OTC) mar­ket.

The OTC in­dex ended up 0.94 per­cent at 144.19 points.

Shares of Lar­gan on the main board rose 2.61 per­cent to close at NT$3,145 on trad­ing vol­ume of 1.1 mil­lion shares. The weighted in­dex on the Tai­wan Stock Ex­change ended up 1.91 per­cent at 9,797.49 points.

Both Her­mes and Lar­gan have be­come fa­vorites of for­eign in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors in the lo­cal eq­uity mar­ket, mar­ket an­a­lysts said.

The an­a­lysts said that on the back of the lead over its peers in pro­duc­tion tech­nol­ogy, Her­mes is ex­pected to en­joy sta­ble sales growth, par­tic­u­larly in its ship­ments tems.

An­a­lysts said that as Her­mes owns patents re­lat­ing to pro­duc­tion of e-beam in­spec­tion sys­tems that will not ex­pire un­til 2023, the com­pany is ex­pected to con­tinue to ben­e­fit from this tech­nol­ogy ad­van­tage. They said it is pos­si­ble that Her­mes will be able to post a 25-35 per­cent year-on-year in­crease in sales this year.

Tai­wan Semi­con­duc­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ing Co. (TSMC, ) is one of Her­mes’ ma­jor clients and the an­a­lysts said Her­mes is ex­pected to re­main one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of TSMC’s ef­forts to up­grade its tech­nol­ogy pro­cesses.

Af­ter the 7 per­cent gains on the OTC mar­ket Thurs­day, Her­mes’ mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion grew al­most NT$27 bil­lion from the end of last week

In 2014, Her­mes posted NT$45.55 in earn­ings per share, up from NT$35.04 recorded in 2013.

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