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Several foreign brokerages upbeat over Catcher's sales prospects for 3rd quarter

TAIPEI -- Several foreign brokerages have given an optimistic forecast of third-quarter sales by Taiwan-based metal casing supplier Catcher Technology Co., citing the expected unveiling of Apple Inc.'s new generation of iPhone later this year.

One of the brokerages, Macquarie Securities, said that along with the peak season effects of the third quarter, the release of the new iPhone could boost Catcher's sales growth from August.

Catcher has been dubbed one of the “Apple concept stocks” in the local equity market.

Macquarie forecast a quarterly sales growth of more than 20 percent in the third quarter for Catcher, noting that such growth would push the company's sales to a record high.

In the April-June period, the Taiwanese metal casing maker posted NT$13.32 billion (US$445 million) in consolidated sales, setting a quarterly record, up 27.9 percent from the first quarter. The sequential growth beat an earlier market estimate of a 15-percent increase.

Macquarie also raised its forecast for Catcher's 2014 earnings per share by 2.1 percent to NT$21.71. The brokerage maintained its “outperform” recommendation on Catcher shares and its target price of NT$361.

In a similar upbeat projection, Credit Suisse said that with Catcher's edge in the sector in terms of production technology, the company could become the second largest casing supplier for the next iPhone, after Hon Hai Group.

Credit Suisse forecast a sequential increase of 13 percent in Catcher sales for the third quarter.

The brokerage raised its target price on Catcher shares from NT$330 to NT$335, and maintained its “outperform” recommendation on the stock.

It said Catcher is expected to post NT$20.4, NT$23.2 and NT$24.4 in EPS for 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, compared with NT$18.38 in 2013.

On Friday, shares of Catcher fell 1.06 percent to close at NT$279.50 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange as renewed concerns over the debt problems in Europe affected investor sentiment.

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