Benq cancels 2.3% of stock after 2006 loss

TAIPEI, Bloomberg

Benq Corp., Taiwan’s biggest maker of branded consumer electronics, canceled 2.3 percent of its shares that the company bought back about three years ago.

About 60 million shares were canceled, leaving Benq with about 2.56 million shares outstanding, the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company said in a statement today. The shares were worth about NT$801 million (US$24 million) at today’s closing price.

Benq yesterday posted a record loss of NT$27.6 billion for 2006 on falling mobile phone sales after the company failed to turn around a German unit. With a loss of NT$5.2 billion in 2005, the deficit in the past two years wiped out any profit the company’s made since 1999.

Under Taiwanese regulations, companies must cancel shares they bought back within three years if they haven’t sold them to employees, Amber Chen, a Benq spokeswoman, said by phone today.

Shares of Benq fell for a third day, declining 2.2 percent to close at NT$13.35 in Taipei, extending this week’s drop to 10 percent. By comparison, the benchmark Taiex index rose 0.3 percent. The statement came after the close of the market.