Largan sales down 18% in Q1; Catcher revenue up 40%

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple, reported an 18 percent year-on-year decline in first quarter sales, a slide analysts attributed to weaker than expected demand for the iPhone X.

But another Taiwanese Apple supplier, casing maker Catcher Technology Co., reported a 40 percent increase in first quarter sales from a year earlier, citing recovering global PC demand.

Largan had consolidated sales of NT$8.88 billion (US$305 million) in the January-March period, down 18 percent from a year earlier and down 45 percent from the previous quarter.

The company felt the pinch of both lower than expected demand for the iPhone X, which was released in September 2017 to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and the traditionally slow first quarter, analysts said.

In March alone, Largan's consolidated sales slid 13 percent from a year earlier to NT$3.14 billion, but were up 42 percent from a month earlier because of an increase in the number of business days from February.

Largan's sales plunged 37 percent from a month earlier and 35 percent from a year earlier in February as the six-day Lunar New Year holiday cut short the number of working days in the month.

In March, 10 megapixel lenses and more advanced lenses accounted for 70-80 percent of Largan's total sales, 8 megapixel lenses accounted for 10-20 percent, and 5 megapixel lenses represented up to 10 percent, the company said.

The company will hold an investor conference on April 12 at which it is expected to provide more details about its first quarter results and provide sales guidance for the second quarter.

Earlier this week, a U.S.-based brokerage lowered a target price on Largan shares to NT$2,800 from NT$3,200 after it cut its forecast of iPhone shipments for the first half of 2018.

The brokerage also said Apple is likely to adopt single lens cameras for its upcoming iPhones, which is not favorable for Largan because its biggest competitive edge lies in dual and multiple lens production.

Amid concerns about its sales momentum, shares of Largan were down 47 percent from its all-time intraday high of NT$6,075 in August 2017 after closing at NT$3,185.00 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the last trading session before a five-day holiday.

Catcher had consolidated sales of NT$20.41 billion in the first quarter, up 40 percent from a year earlier, but down 37.8 percent from the previous quarter because of slow season effects.

In March, the company's consolidated sales rose 31.1 percent year-on-year to NT$6.52 billion, on stronger demand for PCs and mobile devices.

On Tuesday, Catcher shares closed at NT$360.00, down 1.26 percent, in Taipei.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel