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January 6, 2014

HTC marks ninth quarterly drop in sales

Q4 results show total revenues reached $1.4bn.

By Ben Sullivan

Smartphone giant HTC has posted its Q4 results, failing to meet analyst estimates for a fourth consecutive quarter.

Despite the release of its HTC One, One Max and other high-qualiy smartphones, HTC’s fourth Q4 net income was NT$310 million ($10 million), missing the NT$694 million average of 20 analysts’ estimates put together by Bloomberg.

Operating loss stood at NT 1.56 billion ($52 million), slightly narrower that the average predicted loss of NT 1.72 billion ($57 million).

Shares in HTC have fallen to their lowest since October, down 3.6 percent to NT$133.50 as of the close of trade in Taipei.

The company saved face a little by its sale of a 24.84% stake in Beats Audio, which it shifted for around $265 million.

However, ailing smartphone sales are going to make 2014 a touch year for the Taiwanese firm.

"The weakness in top-line was due to the lackluster demand of its new flagship model HTC One Max and the mid-range Desire-series models," Kylie Huang, a Taipei-based analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. wrote in a note.

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"We view 2014 could be a worse year for HTC as the benefit from the cooperation with China Mobile and its recent changes, if any, could be offset by the fiercer competition from leading OEMs and China brands," Daiwa’s Huang said.

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