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Largan Q1 revenue, profit set new high

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Largan Precision Co. (大立光) yesterday impressed the market by posting NT$6.86 billion and NT$22.36 for first-quarter consolidated revenues and earnings per share (EPS), both of which reached a new high in the first quarter.

Boosted by a better-than-expected earning report from Apple Inc., shares of the Apple's smartphone lens supplier Thursday closed up 3.85 percent, setting a record high.

Largan Precision yesterday held quarterly meetings with institutional investors in which the company's first-quarter performance was announced.

Largan reported a consolidated revenues of NT$6.86 billion for the first quarter, a 34-percent growth from the previous quarter, while combined gross margin ratio increased a sizable 7.33 percentage points month-on-month to 55.6 percent during the same period.

The market expects Largan to report NT$16-17 in EPS for the first quarter, compared with NT$13.79 in EPS over the same period of last year.

For the entire 2014, Largan could post no less than NT$80 in EPS, up from NT$71.64 seen a year earlier, as Apple will probably launch the next generation of the iPhone in September, Asia Securities Investment Consultant analyst Chang Chih-cheng told the Central News Agency (CNA).

Apple-related Shares Are Mixed

Shares of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密), which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, stayed unchanged at NT$88.6.

“Hon Hai is in consolidation mode, so that's why the stock underperformed other Apple suppliers,” Chang told CNA. “Once the stock falls further and moves closer to around NT$87, it could provide investors with a good buying point.”

In the printed circuit board (PCB) segment, shares of Compeq Manufacturing Co. (華通電腦) gained 4.76 percent to hit NT$19.8, while shares of Career Technology Co. (嘉聯益科技) added 3.31 percent to hit NT$40.55.

Chang said the strong interest in these stocks showed that investors were expecting that once Apple unveils a larger-sized iPhone, demand for PCBs will increase accordingly.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed down 11.47 points, or 0.12 percent, at 8,945.45, after moving between 8,926.55 and 8,971.94 on a turnover of NT$94.92 billion.

In an investor conference held after Wall Street closed the previous day, Apple reported that its net profit for the January-March period rose 7 percent from a year earlier to US$10.2 billion. Its EPS stood at US$11.62.

The results beat a previous market expectation that Apple would post a net profit of US$9.1 billion, or US$10.17 in EPS, for the quarter.

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