HTC's profit slides, turnaround prospects bleak

HTC's profit slides, turnaround prospects bleak
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Handset maker HTC has issued a earnings warning, as it reported an 83 percent drop in second quarter profit.

Facing intensifying competition in the smartphone market, the Taiwanese firm said its third-quarter revenue could fall as much as 30 percent from the previous three months.

That was far worse than expected and underscores its deepening troubles as the market for high-end phones appears to be approaching saturation, a problem affecting even bigger rivals such as Apple and Samsung.

While the company said it expected an improvement in the fourth quarter, analysts were sceptical about a significant near-term reversal of fortunes.

“Negative across the board,” said Daniel Chang, an analyst at Macquarie Securities. “It doesn’t seem like the company has any strategy that can turn this around.”

HTC shares have fallen 44 percent for the year to date and are now trading at lows not seen since 2005.

It is not the only smartphone maker facing an uphill battle as growth for higher-end phones slows, with Nokia and BlackBerry also recently reporting weak results.

HTC’s earnings warning is only one disappointment of many over the last several quarters. While the HTC One’s sleek aluminium design has won critical acclaim, its launch was delayed by several months due to a shortage of camera components and the company has also been hurt by a wave of executive departures.

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