HTC shares plunge on cautious Q1 guidance


TAIPEI — Shares of smartphone vendor HTC Corp. took a beating yesterday on the company’s cautious guidance for the first quarter of this year, dealers said.

Yesterday’s selling may have come largely from foreign institutional investors after Citigroup cut its target price for HTC shares to NT$205 from NT$250 following the smartphone vendor’s gloomy forecast Monday, they said.

HTC lost 7 percent, the maximum daily decline, to close at NT$266.00.

“Many investors were stunned by HTC’s first quarter sales forecast. Although the company has launched its popular Butterfly model, it seems that the new product will not be able to boost its sales,” Horizon Securities analyst Benson Huang said.

At an investor conference Monday, HTC projected its sales for the first quarter at between NT$50 billion and NT$60 billion, compared with NT$60 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Separately, shares in Taiwan closed lower yesterday amid renewed concerns over the debt problems in the eurozone, as investors were worried that the political uncertainty in Spain and Italy would affect financial conditions in the Asian region, dealers said.

The construction sector outperformed the broader market on a rebound in housing transactions in January after a slump in 2012, they said.

The weighted index closed down 36.22 points, or 0.45 percent, at 7,886.94, after moving between 7,863.91 and 7,896.67, on turnover of NT$76.14 billion. The market opened down 0.33 percent as investors took cues from the losses on Wall Street and European markets overnight due to a corruption accusation against the Spanish prime minister, dealers said.

In addition, a banking scandal in Italy dampened market sentiment as investors grew worried that it would complicate the upcoming elections in the European country, dealers said.