Foreign optimism boosts Hermes Microvision shares
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.