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HTC shares post big gains as model wins Engadget Award

TAIPEI -- Shares of Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC Corp. posted gains on Saturday, outperforming the broader market after its flagship model — the HTC One — won the title of smartphone of the year in the Engadget Awards 2013, dealers said.

Buying also reflected investors' optimism toward HTC's shipments now that the company has targeted the booming lower-cost smartphone market in China, expecting the company to see sales momentum pick up in March, the dealers said.

Shares of HTC rose 3.40 percent to close at NT$152.00 (US$4.97) with 9.80 million shares changing hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, where the weighted index ended down 0.23 percent at 8,577.17 points.

The stock opened higher and some profit-taking set in to put the stock in consolidation mode, the dealers said. However, late-session buying emerged in the wake of the Engadget Awards and due to hopes of a recovery in shipments, which pushed the stock to the day's high at the close, they said.

Engadget is a website covering cutting-edge gadgets and consumer electronics.

Investors' interest in HTC shares have particularly turned stronger amid optimism toward the smartphone vendor's sales after the Desire 816 — one of the company's mid-range smartphone models — received a warm welcome in China, securing orders for more than 1 million units in just 10 days in a pre-order campaign.

In addition to the lower-cost market, HTC is gearing up to boost its competitive edge in the high-end market and is scheduled to unveil a new flagship model, the HTC M8, next week.

In the first two months of this year, however, HTC's consolidated sales totaled only NT$16.9 billion, far below a sales target range of between NT$34 billion and NT$36 billion for the first quarter.

However, on the back of the popularity of its lower-cost models in China, investors have high hopes that HTC will be able to achieve its first-quarter sales goal by posting a sales pick-up in March, the dealers said.

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