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Casing maker's April sales little changed from March

2012/05/05 13:34:20

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) Catcher Technology Co., a Taiwan-based casing supplier, witnessed its consolidated sales for April rise just 0.2 percent from March in reflection of slowing shipments from one of its major customers.

Catcher said Friday it posted NT$3.025 billion (US$103 million) in consolidated sales for April, little changed from NT$3.018 billion recorded a month earlier.

Market analysts said the growth was even lower than the market had previously expected.

As smartphone maker HTC Corp., one of Catcher's major buyers, failed to boost its shipments significantly last month, the casing maker's unconsolidated sales for April fell 16.8 percent from a month earlier to NT$953 million, they said.

In addition to HTC, Apple serves as one of the largest buyers of Catcher, which has been called one of the "Apple concept stocks."

In the first four months of this year, Catcher recorded NT$11.68 billion in consolidated sales, up 19.37 percent, the company said.

Catcher said while shipments of cell phone casings appeared soft in April, shipments of notebook computer housings kept recovering to offset the impact from the cell phone front.

Looking ahead, analysts said that demand for notebook computers in the second quarter is expected to grow further to lift the casing business after the slow-season effects of the first quarter faded.

Several foreign brokerages, including UBS Securities and JP Morgan, had previously anticipated Catcher's consolidated sales for the second quarter would grow more than 20 percent from NT$8.65 billion recorded in the first quarter on the back of launches of new notebook computers and smartphones.

However, due to the lackluster April sales data, analysts said, Catcher will have to play catch-up in May and June in a bid to meet the expectations of these foreign brokerages.

Shares of Catcher have attracted strong buying in recent trading sessions after the company reported solid earnings growth for the first quarter.

In the January-March period, the casing maker posted NT$3.72 in earnings per share, up from NT$3.58 in the fourth quarter and NT$2.86 in the same period of last year. The first quarter figure also beat a market expected range between NT$3.3 and NT$3.5.

Catcher shares closed up 2.27 percent at NT$202.50 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Friday, while foreign institutional investors served as net sellers of 954,875 shares during the trading session.

(By Lo Hsiu-wen and Frances Huang)