* Smartphone demand looking good in Q4-analyst
* Q3 profits, revenues more than double year earlier
(Adds analyst comment)
TAIPEI Oct 6 Taiwan's HTC Corp (2498.TW), the
world's No. 4 smartphone brand, reported a near doubling in
third-quarter profit on Wednesday, thanks to new models and its
push into phones for Google's (GOOG.O) Android operating system.
HTC's unaudited net profit was T$11.1 billion ($360 million)
for July-September, the company said in a statement that gave no
further details. That was up from T$5.695 billion in the same
period a year ago and well above a consensus forecast of T$8.7
billion by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
HTC has recently unveiled details of its push into the
increasingly important mobile services sector and has introduced
two new handsets using Google's Android software. [ID:nLDE68E1BL]
"Investors are comfortable with HTC's status in the Android
market," said Steven Tseng, an analyst at RBS in Taipei. "HTC
will keep a stable position, even if it is not a leader in the
He said demand for smartphones looks good in the fourth
quarter. He rates HTC a buy with a share price target of T$880.
The results came after the Taipei stock market closed on
Wednesday. The stock rose 3 percent to T$719 against a 1 percent
rise in the main TAIEX .TWII index. HTC's shares have more than
doubled from a year-low of T$264.69 in February.
HTC faces tough competition from much larger rival Samsung
Electronics (005930.KS), as well as Nokia Oyj NOK1V.HE,
Blackberry maker Research in Motion RIM.TO and iPhone maker
Apple Inc (AAPL.O).
Research firm Gartner predicts the Android operating system
will become the world's second most popular operating system for
cell phones this year, almost two years sooner than first
Microsoft's (MSFT.O) Windows Phone 7 software will be
publicly unveiled on Oct. 11 and is expected on handsets in
stores by November. HTC is set to be one of the first companies
to make smartphones for the Microsoft system. [ID:nN29206141]
HTC's sales reached T$27.1 billion in September, more than
double from the same month a year earlier, while third quarter
revenues reached T$75.85 billion, from T$33.81 billion a year
The company will hold a marketing event on Thursday in Taiwan
to launch new smartphone models.
(Reporting by Argin Chang; Editing by Jonathan Standing)