HTC shares fall below NT$100 mark after suppliers cut forecast for 2015
Shares of Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC Corp. took a beating in Monday morning trade, falling below NT$100 (US$3.25) after its suppliers reportedly cut their 2015 shipment forecast for the flagship HTC One M9 smartphone by 30 percent, dealers said.
The lower forecast reflected the fierce competition in the global high- end smartphone business, which has placed pressure on HTC’s bottom line, dealers said.
Shares of HTC dropped 4.85 percent to NT$98.00 with 13.65 million shares changing hands. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 0.77 percent at 9,625.69 points.
Due to the shipment forecast, the stock began facing heavy downward pressure soon after the local bourse opened, and selling escalated, pushing down the share price to NT$97 at one point, the lowest level in 12 years, dealers said.
The local media reported that HTC’s suppliers have lowered their forecast for HTC One M9 shipments by 30 percent to only 3.2 million units for the entire 2015. HTC unveiled the model in March.
Amid strong competition from its rivals, HTC shares have fallen almost 40 percent from NT$161 earlier in the year. HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang could encounter complaints from minority shareholders about the situation when the company holds its annual general meeting Tuesday.
In a written report to HTC’s shareholders ahead of the meeting, Wang said the company had been facing fierce competition in the global mobile device industry over the past two years but managed to turn a profit in 2014, indicating that it had become fundamentally healthier.
Last year, HTC posted NT$1.48 billion in net profit, compared with a net loss of NT$1.32 billion in 2013. Its earnings per share for 2014 stood at NT$1.8, improving from a loss per share of NT$1.60 a year earlier.
HTC said that to extend its reach beyond smartphones in the global high tech market, it has entered the turf of wearable devices by launching the HTC Grip fitness tracker and the HTC Vive, a virtual reality headset developed jointly with US video game supplier Valve.
HTC held a 1.6-percent share of the global smartphone market in 2014 and was ranked as the world’s 11th largest smartphone vendor, according to market information advisory firm Jefferies.