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HTC shares advance on sales forecast

HTC Corp., Taiwan's biggest mobile phone vendor, climbed in Taipei trading after forecasting sales growth will accelerate and saying its handset that runs on a Google Inc. operating system is attracting increased interest.

HTC climbed 3.1 percent to close at NT$501 and was the most active stock by value on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The TAIEX index fell 0.3 percent.

Third-quarter revenue may climb 30 percent, helped by the release of HTC's Diamond that competes with Apple Inc.'s iPhone, Chief Financial Officer Cheng Hui-ming said in a conference call Thursday.

Wireless operators are showing more interest in a handset equipped with Google's Android operating system that HTC will release in the fourth quarter, he said.

"If HTC can successfully deliver this product on time with good quality, this will offer another growth catalyst for HTC over the next few years," Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. analyst Alex Yang wrote in a report yesterday, referring to the Android phone. He maintained his "overweight" rating on the stock.

HTC, based in Taoyuan, Taiwan, reported Thursday that second-quarter profit rose 48 percent and revenue increased 29 percent. The company released its Diamond phone in Asia in June and will begin selling the handset through Sprint Nextel Corp. in August.

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