Poorest quarter yet for the Taiwanese manufacturer
HTC's financial woes continue, with today's unaudited results for the first quarter of 2013 painting a picture of a barely profitable company. Net income after tax slipped to just NT$85 million ($2.83 million), down from NT$4.464 billion ($150 million) it earned during the first quarter of 2012.
HTC's total revenues for Q1 2013 were NT$42.8 billion ($1.42 billion). Unaudited operating income was NT$43 million ($1.43 million), while net income before tax was NT$103 million ($3.43 million). Unaudited earnings per share (EPS) were NT$0.10 ($0.003).
Today's announcement follows delays in getting the new HTC One handset out onto the market. Camera component shortages led to the UK, German and Taiwanese launches slipping from mid-to-late March, while wider availability -- including the crucial U.S. launch -- was pushed back to mid-April. HTC's pinning its hopes for revival on its new high-end smartphone, with reports suggesting CEO Peter Chou may have told execs he'll resign if the device isn't a success.
We'd argue that even if the HTC One had launched on time, the difference to HTC's balance sheet wouldn't have been fully reflected until later into the second quarter. But with Samsung's Galaxy S4 due in multiple countries by late April, every extra day on store shelves is crucial, and the delays represent more bad news for a company that's been in decline for some time now.
HTC will be hoping that the next round of financials show the turnaround it's been expecting off the back of its new handset. As we said in our HTC One review, the phone itself is certainly up to the task. Now it's up to HTC's marketers to get the message out to smartphone buyers.