HTC Income Reaches Lowest Point In 9 Years As Struggle Continues

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Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC failed to meet analysts’ estimates during the fourth quarter of 2012, posting an operating income that of just NT$600 million ($21 million). The average estimate from 20 industry analysts was NT$1.11 billion, according to Bloomberg — that’s almost double the figure HTC actually achieved.

HTC’s net income was NT$1 billion ($34 million), the company said in a statement today. That’s the lowest it’s been since 2004, and significantly less than the NT$10.1 billion the company posted the same time last year. Revenue dropped 41% to NT$60 billion, which meets the forecast HTC made back in October. It doesn’t meet the NT$60.5 billion estimate from analysts, though.

HTC has launched several impressive handsets — such as the One X+ and the Droid DNA — but they’re just not selling.

“HTC’s operating margin barely met expectations and December sales were below what many expected,” Jeff Pu, a Taipei-based analyst at Fubon Financial Holding Co. told Bloomberg. “It’s due to non-operating items that net income was as high because some models were not selling as well in the U.S. and China.”

Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy devices clawed away at HTC’s market share, while a lack of new devices during the quarter is to blame.

“There were no strong products for HTC in the fourth quarter, so it will be the bottom of their sales and earnings,” Richard Ko, an analyst at KGI Securities said before HTC’s announcement. “New products such as Butterfly should start to have an effect on their results this quarter.”

The J Butterfly, the world’s first smartphone with a 5-inch 1080p display, is expected to do well for HTC going forward, while the company is also said to be planning a new Android smartphone for this quarter.

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