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HTC to return to growth in 2013: brokerage

2012/09/19 15:58:33

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) HTC Corp., a Taiwan-based smartphone vendor, is expected to return to growth in 2013 on the back of its efforts to launch new models to stir up buying interest, Jih Sun Securities Investment Consulting Co. said Wednesday.

In a research note, the brokerage said HTC, in particular, will benefit from its ongoing business strategy to penetrate the huge China market by introducing more devices there.

Amid optimism toward HTC's earnings outlook, Jih Sun said it has issued a "buy" rating on the smartphone vendor's shares, and recommended a target price of NT$393.00 (US$13.36) on the stock.

Shares of HTC closed down 2.36 percent at NT$310.50 on profit taking, with 28.26 million shares changing hands, on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, where the benchmark weighted index was up 0.61 percent at 7,781.91 points Wednesday.

In the first half of this year, HTC posted NT$12.47 billion in net profit or NT$14.25 per share, down from NT$32.36 billion in net profit or NT$38.13 per share recorded over the same period of last year amid fierce competition from rivals, such as Apple Inc. of the U.S. and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co.

HTC has launched several middle-end smartphones in China, while working with the country's top telecom operators -- China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom -- to provide tailored services to customers, Jih Sun said.

The brokerage said along with HTC's efforts for a larger share in Japan, the company is expected to benefit from its rising presence in the Asia Pacific region, which will help the company offset the impact from falling shipments to the U.S. and European markets.

According to Jih Sun's estimate, HTC's shipments to the U.S. and European markets are expected to fall to 48 percent of its total shipments in 2012 from 65 percent recorded in 2011.

The ratio is likely to fall further to 41 percent in 2013, the brokerage said.

In addition, HTC will soon launch models running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system to boost its global competitiveness, Jih Sun said.

The smartphone supplier is likely to unveil two models equipped with the Windows 8 operating system and one 5-inch smartphone operating on Google's Android system in New York later in the day.

Jih Sun said HTC is likely to grasp a 15 percent share in the Windows 8 smartphone market in 2013, to boost its shipments for the year to 12.13 million units, up from 9.65 million units estimated for 2012.

(By Stacy Wu and Frances Huang)