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Market researcher predicts falling LCD panel revenues

Post Time:May 26,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:257

Taiwanese manufacturers of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels could report a fifth straight quarterly decline in revenues this quarter as the economic downturn curtails sales of electronic products, but they might see encouraging signs after the free-fall in prices stops, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) said yesterday.

The local market researcher said domestic LCD panel makers’ revenues from PC and TV panel sales likely plunged nearly 60 percent to NT$113.34 billion (US$3.5 billion) in the second quarter from NT$281.59 billion in the same quarter last year, as demand from US and European markets remained sluggish.

“Demand from China helped generate some orders, but it will take more time to see whether it will be strong enough to lead to a recovery,” ITRI analyst Nancy Liu said yesterday.

Liu said she held a positive view about Beijing’s economic stimulus measures subsidizing purchases of TVs and other home appliances in rural China and now in some big cities, but it remained to be seen how Taiwanese companies would benefit from the Chinese demand.

“End demand looks just okay in the traditionally slack second quarter ... but at least we are seeing prices stabilize from April after LCD panel makers adjusted output [downward over the past quarters], which may help panel suppliers stem their bleeding from the downturn,” she said.

The nation’s two largest flat-panel makers, AU Optronics Corp and Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp, have accumulated losses of NT$45.96 billion and NT$54.89 billion respectively during the past three quarters since global economic turmoil started taking a toll on electronics consumption in the third quarter of last year.

ITRI said it had recently begun seeing more positive signs. Prices for 20-inch PC monitor panels rose around US$1 or US$2 per unit last month from March, the researcher said.

In the first quarter, local panel makers reported a 59.4 percent year-on-year decline in PC and TV panel revenues to NT$119.3 billion, ITRI’s tallies show.

For the whole of this year, local panel makers could still see accelerating declines in their revenues from PC and TV screens as a result of recessionary pressure, ITRI said. It forecast revenues from PC and TV panels may fall by 16 percent annually to NT$798.45 billion from last year’s NT$950.53 billion.

Shares of AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics yesterday fell 3.71 percent and 3.12 percent to NT$33.7 and NT$18.65 respectively, under-performing the benchmark TAIEX, which slid 0.04 percent.

Source: taipeitimes.comAuthor: shangyi

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