Credit Suisse looks upbeat on flat panel industry

The China Post news staff

Credit Suisse yesterday gave an optimistic outlook for the flat panel industry, on strong sales and stock performances posted by manufacturers. The investment bank’s optimism contrasted sharply with market research firm AVC, who reported recently that sales in China during the first four weeks of 2012, which coincided with the Chinese New Year, declined by 8 percent year-on-year, due to the Chinese government’s move to end subsidies offered to purchasers of new television sets. Most Chinese consumers bought new TVs at the end of last year, contributing to a rise of 52 percent in sales during the final week of 2011, AVC said. Credit Suisse, on the other hand, expressed greater confidence, citing bullish stock performances by Taiwan’s two leading flat panel manufacturers, AU Optronics and Chimei Innolux, which have risen 25 percent and 38 percent, respectively, since the beginning of the year. Between the two, Credit Suisse holds a more favorable view for AU Optronics than Chimei, which is having a hard time appointing a new chairman.

As for flat panel parts and components makers, January sales on average fell 20 percent both on a month-on-month and year-on-year basis, due to the Chinese New Year break. Only six companies reported higher January sales. Among them, Radiant Optoelectronics and Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology Corp. posted month-on-month sales increases of 20 percent and 14 percent, respectively, due to their focus on backlighting components for the iPad, Credit Suisse said. As for touch screen makers, four posted higher January sales. Among them HannsTouch Solution and Cando Corp. gave better performances, due to shipments of touch screen panels for the iPad 3 that most believe will be unveiled by Apple in the near future.