Taipei--Catcher Technology Co. (??), a metal casing supplier to Apple Inc., suffered a significant drop in its net profit for the first quarter of this year, mainly due to large foreign exchange losses caused by a stronger Taiwan dollar.
In addition, Catcher said that the fall in its earnings for the January-March period came because its major clients were in a transition period before launching new models.
The statement echoed comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier in the week that a delay in consumer purchases resulted from "reports about future products," which affected iPhone shipments in the first quarter.
In the three-month period, Apple's iPhone shipments totaled 50.8 million units, lower than an earlier market expectation of 52 million units.
Catcher said that it posted NT$2.104 billion (US$69.67 million) in net profit for the first quarter, down 77.9 percent from a quarter earlier and also down 49.5 percent from a year earlier, with earnings per share at NT$2.71.
That compared with earnings per share at NT$12.37 seen in the fourth quarter and NT$5.40 recorded over the same period of last year.
The Taiwanese manufacturer said that it suffered about NT$2.27 billion in non-operating losses, mainly from foreign exchange losses in the first quarter, when the Taiwan dollar rose about 6 percent against the greenback.
Catcher was just one of many Taiwanese exports-oriented high tech firms to report foreign exchange losses.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), the world's largest contract chip maker, incurred about NT$6 billion in foreign exchange losses, while Largan Precision Co., a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple, recorded NT$1.14 billion in such losses.
In the first quarter, Catcher's consolidated sales totaled NT$14.58 billion, down 39.3 percent from a quarter earlier and also down 13.4 percent from a year earlier, while its gross margin, the difference between revenue and cost of the goods sold, fell 1 percentage point from a quarter earlier to 49 percent.
Catcher said that the first half of the year remains a traditional slow season for the company but momentum is expected to pick up, which will help its operations bounce back strongly the second half.
Therefore, it has left its forecast unchanged, predicting that its operations will improve in 2017 as a whole.
In April, Catcher's consolidated sales reached NT$5.14 billion, up 3.3 percent from a month earlier but down 14.9 percent from a year earlier. In the first four months of this year, the company's consolidated sales fell 13.8 percent from a year earlier to NT$19.71 billion.
Catcher has decided to expand a factory located in Jiangsu Province, China, by investing US$1 billion to buy production equipment to meet demand in the future.
Analysts said that the investment aims to secure more orders from Apple, which is expected to launch the next generation iPhones in the second half of the year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel