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Shares of HTC resilient after clearance of U.S. Customs review

2012/05/31 12:07:41

Taipei, May 31 (CNA) Shares of Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC Corp. appeared resilient against a decline on the broader market Thursday morning after its shipments passed a U.S. Customs review, dealers said.

The earlier-than-expected customs clearance is expected to help HTC achieve its goal of generating NT$105 billion (US$3.53 billion) in sales for the second quarter of this year, the dealers said.

As of 11:33 a.m., shares of HTC had increased 0.71 percent to NT$427.00 (US$14.37) with 5.23 million shares changing hands, while the benchmark weighted index was down 0.99 percent at 7,190.22 points.

"The completion of the U.S. Customs review is providing support for HTC shares to fend off selling on the broader market, which remained concerned about the debt problems in Europe," Horizon Securities analyst Benson Huang said.

HTC announced a day earlier that shipments of its latest models -- the HTC One series and the HTC EVO 4G LTE -- have passed the U.S. Customs review, adding that "future shipments should continue to enter the U.S. and we are confident that we will soon be able to meet demand for our products."

On May 16, HTC said shipments of HTC's products had been delayed due to a customs review requested by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) after the USITC ruled that the Taiwanese firm had infringed on a patent asserted by rival Apple, involving data detection.

HTC said it has worked around and found alternatives to the technology alleged in the infringement charges.

"Due to the delay of the shipments, HTC shares suffered a slump. Now, however, the positive leads made the stock resilient soon after the local bourse opened," Huang said.

"Many investors have confidence that HTC will meet its expectations of posting NT$105 billion in sales for the second quarter, as the new models will boost buying interest," Huang said.

However, there is little room for HTC shares to stage a significant rebound in the short term as foreign institutional investors are remaining on the "sell" side, Huang said.

According Huang, foreign institutional investors accounted for 51.65 percent of HTC's outstanding shares as of a day earlier, down from around 55 percent seen in early May.

"Fierce competition from Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple remain and will become more intense," according to Huang.

"Few can dispute that HTC's bottom line has been eroded by a falling market share due to the competition," he said.

According to market advisory firm International Data Corp., HTC's global market share in the first quarter of this year fell to 4.8 percent from 8.9 percent recorded a year earlier.

(By Frances Huang)