Shares of HTC higher on strong pre-orders for new model


TAIPEI — Shares of HTC Corp., a Taiwan-based smartphone vendor, moved higher Tuesday after the company reported a day earlier that pre-orders for its new flagship model — the New HTC One — had already surpassed sales of all its previous models in the Taiwan market, dealers said.

The positive lead prompted many bargain hunters to take advantage of the recent downside in HTC shares, but investors have been advised to stay alert to possible volatility of the stock amid concerns over the company’s consolidated sales for the first quarter of this year, dealers said.

Shares of HTC closed up 3.75 percent at NT$249.00 with 16.78 million shares changing hands, while the benchmark weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 0.34 percent at 7,838.47 points.

Buying emerged soon after the local bourse opened, in the wake of HTC’s announcement of record high pre-orders for its new flagship model, market analysts said.

While HTC did not disclose the actual pre-sale numbers for the New HTC One, it said the figure has exceeded the pre-order sales recorded by its other models, including the popular HTC Butterfly.

HTC unveiled the latest flagship model in London and New York on Feb. 19. The new smartphone is equipped with a 4.7-inch screen with full-HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, a 1.7-gigahertz quad-core processor and a new “UltraPixel” camera that enables ultra-sharp photo shooting and video recording.

Market analysts, however, said the latest gains posted by HTC shares largely represented a technical rebound from the stock’s recent slump amid concerns over a component shortage that could affect HTC’s shipments of the new model.

On this issue, the smartphone vendor said its supply chain has been gearing up for production expansion and that the new model will hit store shelves in Taiwan by the end of March.

Analysts said, however, that investors should remain cautious about HTC’s gloomy sales expectations for the first quarter amid the slow season effects of the three-month period.

In early February, HTC forecast consolidated sales of between NT$50 billion and NT$60 billion for the January-March period, compared with NT$60 billion in the previous quarter.

In view of the company’s lower-than-expected sales of NT$11.4 billion for February, the market is skeptical that HTC can reach its first-quarter sales target, analysts said.