Taipei, Dec. 27 (CNA) Shares of Taiwan-based HTC Corp. rose sharply Thursday morning after the company's HTC J Butterfly model outsold Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5 to become a bestseller on the Japanese telecom operator KDDI's sales rankings, dealers said.
With HTC also launching the Butterfly model in the U.S. and Taiwan markets, many investors were hoping that the model would serve as a driver for HTC's sales growth during the first quarter of next year, they added.
As of 11: 21 a.m., shares of HTC were up 6.08 percent to NT$296.50 (US$10.19) with some 23.60 million of its shares being traded. The benchmark weighted index was also rose 0.08 percent to 7,640.07 points.
"HTC shares staged a strong rebound soon after the local bourse opened due to the release of Japan's sales data," Ta Ching Securities analyst Andy Hsu said.
"On the back of the latest solid gains in share prices, the stock has overcome the nearest technical resistance at around NT$290.00 and I expect further gains down the road," Hsu said.
According to the KDDI sales data, the 5-inch HTC J Butterfly model surpassed the iPhone 5 during the first week (Dec. 10 to Dec. 16) after its launch in Japan. Also, this particular HTC model was ranked the sixth bestseller in the Japanese smartphone market during the same period.
"Consumers in Japan have been well known to be picky," Hsu said. "The sales of the HTC's newest smartphone model are the evidence that the company has made a breakthrough in design and technology to cater to the Japanese."
To the best if his knowledge, Hsu said, HTC J Butterfly was a customized product as the company had worked closely with KDDI to provide a smartphone bundled with the Japanese telecom operator's services.
"In the U.S. and Taiwan, HTC has also adopted the same strategy to attract customers. On the back of its improved production technology, in particular the high-definition panel, the model has been a hit," Hsu said.
The analyst said HTC could very likely achieve its sales target of NT$60 billion for the fourth quarter, adding that this sales goal could even be topped on the back of the Butterfly model's current popularity.
"The market has widely anticipated HTC will copy its success in Japan by introducing the model to the other markets in the world other than the U.S. and Taiwan," Hsu said.
"I am upbeat that the presence of the model will help HTC enjoy a 20 percent sequential increase in sales in the first quarter of next year," he said. "HTC is likely to make a comeback, reversing its sluggish sales seen in the past year."
Hsu said HTC shares might challenge the next technical resistance at a range between NT$330 and NT$340 in the short term, as local institutional investors had shifted to the buy side.
(By Stacy Wu and Frances Huang)