HTC slides into red in Q3
Taipei, October 5, 2013
Taiwan's HTC Corpo-ration slid into the red for the first time in the third quarter, adding to the case for the troubled smartphone maker to abandon its prized independence and reach out for a white knight soon.
Like other strugglers in the sector, HTC has been laid low by the product and marketing might of Apple and Samsung - woes that have been exacerbated by supply chain constraints and internal turmoil.
But where Nokia has fallen into the arms of Microsoft and Blackberry is now in play with one disclosed offer and another being considered, HTC has stuck to its guns that it is not for sale despite what analysts call an increasingly bleak outlook.
HTC posted a quarterly operating loss of 3.5 billion Taiwanese dollar ($120 million) yesterday as sales tumbled by a third from a year earlier, underscoring a dramatic decline for a company which boasts award-winning smartphones but has failed to develop a durable brand image.
HTC's troubles have pushed its shares down some 55 per cent for the year to date and sparked calls for the company to consider a radical overhaul. A JPMorgan note in July called for the company to look at merging with China's Huawei Technologies.
Responding to growing speculation about a possible merger, Cher Wang, HTC's low-profile chairwoman and co-founder, has repeatedly ruled out selling the company and has said a low share price did not bother her.
Wang owns 3.8 per cent of HTC and has built a reputation for no-nonsense simplicity and cool-headedness in the face of pressure.
At a net level, HTC booked a loss of 2.97 billion Taiwanese dollars ($100m), bigger than an expected loss of 1.8 billion Taiwanese dollars. That compares with a net profit of 3.9 billion Taiwanese dollars in the same quarter last year.-Reuters
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