HTC Q3 2012: Operating profit dives 76% and worse times ahead

HTC has revealed its Q3 2012 financial results, and it makes for disappointing reading with revenues and gross profit each dropping by around half compared to a year ago. HTC made NT$70.2bn in the three month period ($2.4bn), down 48-percent from Q3 2011 and 23-percent from Q2 2012, while operating profit was down a huge 76-percent year-on-year, to NT$4.9bn ($167m). It comes as little surprise, however, to HTC itself, which says many of the low sales were in keeping with its expectations.

HTC did manage to trim some of its costs in Q3, however. Operating expenses were down 29-percent year-on-year, to NT$12.6bn ($431m), with the greatest cuts in sales marketing. However, that also meant R&D spend went down; NT$4bn in Q3 2012, versus NT$4.6bn in the previous quarter, and NT$4.7bn a year ago.

Q2 2012 had been seen as a possible turning point for HTC, with the company posting a turnaround in revenues and operating profit. That wasn't to the extent of 2011 figures, mind, but still a more impressive sight than the altogether dire results from the first quarter of this year.

HTC's on-hand cash is now down to half of what it was a year ago, NT$50.5bn ($1.7bn), and operating margin now at 7-percent. Things will only get worse, however, in Q4 2012, with predictions of a 1-percent operating margin and revenues of around NT$60bn ($2.1bn).