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So much for the "recovery"

HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498) latest unaudited earnings release on Monday left more troubling questions than palatable answers, as the company posted a large miss.

According to Financial Timessurvey of 23 analysts, the average expectation was around $5.4B TWD (Taiwanese dollars; 1 TWD = 0.034 USD).  Instead HTC posted a miserable $4B TWD -- a serious warning sign that the company may have hit a major pothole along the road to recovery.

HTC's profit was approximately 50 percent lower than it was last year.  Q3 2011 was HTC's last strong quarter.  Fueled by sales of its popular Android handsets, the company cheered strong sales and sustained growth last year as it briefly topped U.S. sales charts, according to some analyst estimates.  

But in Q4 2011 the company posted a huge earnings miss, and the string of bad financials has continued ever since, driven by slumping sales.

The company's reported revenue was $70.2B TWD ($2.4B USD).

The company's short-term turnaround prospects hedge on a colorful pair of Windows Phone 8 handsets (the 8S and 8X) and a high end Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" offering (the Tegra 3 quad-core, 4.7-inch display One X+, which also packs LTE support).  

One X Plus
The HTC One X+ [Image Source: Anandtech]

HTC in many ways has been among the most aggressive players in the industry in terms of pursuing tangible hardware-level differentiation in its handsets.  Recent models include special image processing hardware that allow them to take photos from a stream of video.  Many models also carry special amplifier chips from subsidiary Beats Audio, allowing them to produce better sound quality.

It remains to be seen whether the new devices and special hardware is sufficient to lure the fickle consumer electronics market.  Another quarter has come and gone, and HTC is left still trying to recapture the magic that allowed it to grow wildly from a company who made other companies' smartphones, to a first-party devicemaker and household brand name.

Source: HTC [via Engadget]





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