TAIPEI Taiwan's HTC Corp, the world's No.4 smartphone brand, expects revenue and shipments to more than double in the first quarter of 2011, helped by a new generation of products.
The company said on Friday in a presentation to investors that it sees revenue reaching T$94 billion ($3.2 billion) and shipments at 8.5 million units in the quarter, while its gross profit margin would be 29.5 percent.
HTC's strong push into smartphones using Google's Android operating system has helped the company to grow market share against bigger smartphone rivals like Apple Inc, Nokia Oyj and Samsung Electronics.
"I think the guidance is OK though it may be a bit disappointing to some as 8.5 million units is at the lower end of market expectations," said Bonnie Chang, an analyst of Yuanta Securities, who forecasts shipments to be 8 million units.
Goldman Sachs and Citi have recently revised up their forecasts on HTC, expecting first quarter shipments to exceed 9 million units.
Growth in the smartphone market is expected to slow to 8.4 percent in 2011 from 13 percent last year, a Reuters poll of 32 banks, brokerages and research firms showed.
Samsung, which plans to launch more new smartphone models this year, has targeted a doubling of sales to at least 50 million units in 2011.
Analysts forecast HTC to report a net profit of T$55.43 billion for 2011, according to a consensus forecast by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"We continue to see strong demand from existing products and expect recently launched 4G products to help drive shipment growth in 2011," HTC said in a statement.
AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless have both announced earlier this month plans to sell the Taiwanese company's 4G handsets, joining Sprint and T-Mobile DTEGn.DE>.
Before the statement, HTC shares fell 0.68 percent, slightly outperforming the main TAIEX's 0.75 percent fall.
HTC posted a record net profit of T$39.33 billion ($1.89 billion) last year, up 75 percent from 2009.
December sales more than doubled to T$33.54 billion from T$14.07 billion in the same month a year earlier.
($1=29.1 Taiwan dollar)
(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Jonathan Standing)