Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., an iPhone assembler, saw its 2018 sales hit a new high despite market concerns over weaker-than-expected shipments of the latest iPhone models unveiled in September.
Analysts said Hon Hai was able to overcome a fall in iPhone sales by diversifying its product portfolio, helping the company post revenue of more than NT$5 trillion (US$162 billion) in 2018.
Yet the record sales number did little to energize the company's stock, which has fallen more than 13 percent over the past three months.
On Friday, Hon Hai shares edged up 0.14 percent to close at NT$69.40 in Taipei.
In a statement released Thursday, Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics maker, posted consolidated sales of NT$5.296 trillion, up 12.51 percent from a year earlier. The figure beat market estimates of NT$5.1 trillion.
In the fourth quarter, Hon Hai's consolidated sales rose 31.59 percent from a quarter earlier to NT$1.81 trillion, a new quarterly high. The fourth quarter figure was also up 4.62 percent from a year earlier.
Hon Hai outperformed many other "Apple concept stocks" in terms of revenue.
Among them, Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple, saw its 2018 consolidated sales fall 5.98 percent to NT$49.95 billion, after its sales for the fourth quarter fell 23.81 percent from a quarter earlier to NT$12.45 billion.
In December alone, Hon Hai's consolidated sales totaled NT$619.32 billion, up 2.97 percent from a month earlier but down 8.27 percent from a year earlier.
According to Hon Hai, its computing device division outperformed the communications and consumer electronics operations in December.
Analysts said Hon Hai benefited from relatively strong demand for servers, notebook computers and desktop computers in December, a traditional peak season for consumer electronics products.
Based on Hon Hai's 2018 sales, analysts expect the company to report a net profit of NT$110 billion for the year.
Following a capital reduction in which its paid-in capital and outstanding shares were reduced by 20 percent, its earnings per share is expected to be NT$8, compared with NT$8.01 in 2017.
The estimate took into account Hon Hai's more than NT$180 billion in operating expenses, including expenses from subsidiary Hong Kong-listed FIH Mobile Ltd., which has spent heavily to market Nokia-branded smartphones.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel