Investors Puzzle Over HTC: Biggest Winner in U.S., Big Loser Globally
November 28, 2011 9:04 AM
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Company's CFO says new flagship LTE models will launch globally in 2012, restore sales growth
If there's one of the Android superstars that's stumbled in the last few months it's been HTC Corp. (
). Globally the Taiwanese phone maker has seen its pattern of quarterly growth come to an end. Indeed, it
predicted zero growth
in Q4 sales, even as smartphone sales as whole continue to rise at a double-digit pace.
Chief Financial Officer Winston Yung brushed off the disturbing metric, commenting that HTC would overall show large growth from 2010 to 2011. He explains, "I don't think it's so serious. We have six quarters of improvement, the most conservative guidance is 45 million units of shipments this year, a lot higher than 25 million last year."
Investors apparently feel otherwise. They've hammered HTC's stock 32.5 percent downwards since November 16.
The plunge is frustrating for the company as it comes not long after HTC received a happy surprise,
finding itself topping
American firm Apple, Inc. (
) and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) in Q3 2011 U.S. smartphone sales. HTC's strong performance in the U.S. was not entirely unexpected, but its top position was a surprise.
HTC also faces legal woes stemming from its battle with Apple. Last year it was the first Android phone maker to be attacked by
attacked by Apple in U.S. court
filed a counter complaint to the ITC in May
filed a second complaint
in June. Apple wants to ban all shipments of HTC smartphones into the U.S., the company's lone remaining bastion of strong sales.
On the legal front, HTC did catch a bit of a break, seeing a potential sales ban on its phones in Germany due to infringement of a patent from a firm called IPCom lifted when the patent involved was ruled invalid by the EU.
And HTC's Mr. Yung expressed confidence that upcoming brand new 2012 flagship models will right the ship for HTC. He comments, "We will focus on the product next year, better and more competitive. Other than new LTE phones for the U.S. market, we also have phones for the global market. We will launch some worldwide flagship products. We're confident in them."
HTC will need to show proof of its turnaround if it hopes to slow its falling stock, which is being unloaded by foreign institutional investors.
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Why flagship products...
11/28/2011 10:46:10 AM
... when the lower priced models are what sells better? I'm the kind of person that never pays more than 150€ for a phone - here in Europe I can find plenty of models from Samsung, Sony, Huawei and other less-known manufacturers (even Nokia, but I'm an android user), but I can never find HTC cheaper phones (or at least they're not widely available). Maybe this is the reason why HTC is so low outside of the US?
Either they don't have cheaper smartphones or they're not advertised enough.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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