Sales generated by Taiwan's leading smartphone brand HTC Corp. (???), in October hit the second highest level so far this year, but still fell more than 12 percent from September, when the biggest revenue figure for 2016 was recorded.
Market analysts attributed the sales fall to the fading effect of HTC's newly launched smartphone models in the global market. But HTC's efforts in promoting its first virtual reality headset, the HTC Vive, as well as serving as the sole contract manufacturer of Google's Pixel smartphone series lent some support to the Taiwanese firm's sales in October, analysts added.
According to HTC, its consolidated sales for October stood at NT$8.17 billion (US$259 million), down 12.4 percent from the NT$9.33 billion recorded in September. October sales also fell 8.66 percent compared with a year ago.
In the first 10 months of this year, HTC posted NT$64.09 billion in consolidated sales, down 38.9 percent from a year earlier, indicating that the firm faced stiff competition in the already saturated global smartphone market.
Analysts said that due to a warm reception of Google's Pixel models in the global market, HTC is expected to receive more orders placed by the U.S. high-tech giant over the next few months, which could continue to serve as a driver of the Taiwanese firm's revenue momentum for the rest of the year.
In addition, HTC has said that it is scheduled to unveil new smartphone models in November and would keep pushing for the sales of the HTC Vive, adding that the company is expected to benefit from the upcoming buying spree in the Christmas season.
The HTC Vive is one of the company's gambits to diversify away from its core smartphone market, which is saturated and intensely competitive, in the hope of creating an additional revenue source and turning around its fortunes.
The VR headset, jointly developed by HTC and U.S. video game supplier Valve, went on sale globally in April. It is equipped with tracked controllers that allow wearers to inspect objects from every angle and interact with their surroundings.
In the third quarter, HTC incurred NT$1.8 billion in net loss or NT$2.18 in loss per share, marking the sixth consecutive quarter for the smartphone brand to report a net loss, but the loss was moderated from the NT$3.71 in loss per share in the second quarter and the NT$3.16 in loss per share in the first quarter.
In the first nine months of this year, HTC's loss per share stood at NT$9.05.
Foreign brokerages remained mixed about HTC's outlook, saying that its core smartphone business remained slow, while the company could get a boost from sales of the HTC Vive and Google's Pixel series.
A U.S. brokerage has raised its target price on HTC shares to NT$68 from NT$58, while leaving an "underweight" rating unchanged. A European brokerage has maintained an "underperform" rating and a NT$79 target price on the stock.
On Friday, shares of HTC fell 0.81 percent to close at NT$85.50 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel