Taiwan's leading TFT-LCD makers see rich harvest for 2003

Nov 03, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Judy, CENS
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Taipei, Nov. 3, 2003 (CENS)--Taiwan's leading manufacturers of thin film transistor-liquid display (TFT-LCD) panels saw good performance in the third quarter of this year, and their operations in the fourth quarter are expected to remain upbeat.

In the first nine months of the year Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp., an emerging star in the TFT-LCD panel manufacturing industry, recorded after-tax profit of NT$2.45 billion (US$69 million at US$1 = NT$34), with earnings per share (EPS) of NT$0.96 (US$0.03). In the third quarter alone, the company's pretax profits posted at NT$2.25 billion (US$66.24 million), more than three times the NT$729 million (US$21.44 million) for the second quarter and much higher than the target of NT$1 billion (US$29.4 million) for the quarter.

Chi Mei attributed the rapidly expanding profits for the third quarter to the shipment of near 100,000 27-inch plus TFT-LCD panels during the quarter. To inspire its investors, the company is slated to open an institutional investors conference on Nov. 6 and reportedly to announce an upward readjustment of its annual financial projections at the conference. It is estimated that the company's profit goal for the year would be raised to around NT$6-7 billion (US$176.5-205.9 million).

HannStar Display Corp., a dynamic maker of the industry, recorded revenue of NT$23.71 billion (US$697.4 million) in the same nine-month period. And in the third quarter alone, the company registered pretax profit of NT$422 million (US$12.4 million), showing a considerable growth over the second quarter. And its profit margin rate in the same quarter rose to 16.94% from the second quarter's 12.9%.

In the fourth quarter, HannStar is expected to gain profits of NT$1.37 billion (US$40.27 million), which will help make the firm's operations turn profitable. With the strong shot of the last quarter, the company may see earnings of NT$900 million (US$26.5 million) for 2003.

Quanta Display Inc., an affiliate of Quanta Computer Group, also turned profitable in the third quarter, with after-tax profits of NT$55.94 million (US$1.62 million) higher than the projected level. However, the company revenue of only NT$5.02 billion (US$147.6 million), much lower than its target of NT$8.34 billion (US$245.9 million).

Quanta attributed the revenue shortfall to the fact that the firm has yet to take into account the revenue of the its fifth-generation TFT-LCD panel. With the participation of the new plant in October, the company may see the revenue jump to NT$3 billion (US$88.24 million) in October alone.

Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. Recorded revenue of NT$29.6 billion (US$870.6 million) in the first three quarters, with after-tax loss of NT$1.81 billion (US$53.5 million) or NT$0.31 (US$0.01) per share.

The company is to hold an institutional investors conference tomorrow, and it is reportedly to release good news to its investors. Chunghwa is estimated to gain rising profits in the fourth quarter and the income for the entire year is very likely to turn blue from red.
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