HTC posts record profit dip

Nosedive tied to strong performance of Samsung, Apple
HTC has lost its "sense of urgency" in the words of HTC CEO Peter Chou.
HTC has lost its "sense of urgency" in the words of HTC CEO Peter Chou.

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HTC Corp, Asia's number two in the smartphone sector, suffered a record quarterly profit plunge in Taipei trading this morning, reports Bloomberg.

The dip comes on the back of recent market gobbling by Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc as the maker of the One, Sensation and Desire handsets has lost its "sense of urgency" in the words of HTC CEO Peter Chou's email to employees in August.

HTC declined by the 7% daily limit to NT$267 as of 10.24am, headed for its largest loss since 5 July. The stock has dropped 46% this year, out of step with the 7.7% advance seen in Taiwan's benchmark Taiex (TWSE) index.

Competition from handset rivals drove third-quarter net income down to NT$3.9bn ($133m), the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company announced yesterday. That represented a 79% decline from a year ago and fell short of the NT$4.43bn average of eight analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg in the past month. HTC's share of global smartphone shipments fell to 5.8% in the second quarter from 10.7% a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.

"HTC's newly launched smartphones will not be a game changer for the company," Richard Ko of KGI Securities in Taipei, wrote in a report yesterday. Ko rates the stock "underperform".

"Competition in the smartphone space remains intense across all segments. We believe Apple and Samsung will continue to lead on brand, distribution channel, scale and cost."

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