Japan Display shares hit record low after cutting profit forecast

TOKYO Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:02pm EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares in Japan Display Inc (6740.T) slid to their lowest since its initial public offering just over a month ago after the world's largest maker of smartphone screens slashed its full-year operating profit forecast by nearly 11 percent.

Japan Display cut its operating profit forecast to 27.20 billion yen ($266.58 million) from 30.40 billion yen for the year ended in March. It cited lower sales than expected due to difficulties in negotiating prices for mid-tier smartphone screens with customers as the market price dropped.

Japan Display's IPO of $3.3 billion suffered a disappointing debut at its listing on the Tokyo stock exchange on March 19, slipping 15 percent on its first day of trade.

Market participants said unfavorable market conditions were a factor, amid weak appetite for new issues. They also cited concerns about earnings potential in the highly competitive display market.

Some investors are still optimistic about Japan Display's prospects as it has bucked expectations in its short history to become the world's leading maker of screens for smartphones and tablets in a rare success for a government-funded restructuring effort. The company also makes displays for Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone.

Japan Display's stock was last at 703 yen, down 12 percent from Friday's close of 799 yen. It earlier hit an all-time low of 692 yen, 23 percent lower than its IPO price of 900 yen.

(Reporting by Dominic Lau and Sophie Knight; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Ryan Woo)

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