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AUO reports fifth profitable quarter

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- AU Optronics (友達) yesterday second quarter revenues of NT$102.042 billion, improving by 8.8 percent quarter-on-quarter, and after-tax net income of NT$4.024 billion, and earnings-per-share performance of NT$0.42, at the company's earnings conference yesterday.

Most notably, the company's performance over the period represent its fifth consecutive quarter in the black, and the reaching of a four-year high record in sales. Concurrently, the company's profit margins climbed by 10.4 percent, from the 7.3 percent seen in the previous period, with earnings-per-share vastly exceeding the first quarter's NT$0.03 to reach NT$0.42.

The company's second quarter performance also dispelled market expectations of severe 20 to 40 percent declines in revenues amid heightening competition in the China market due to encroachment by South Korea-based rivals.

Meanwhile, research institute DisplaySearch stated that prospects are optimistic for the display panel sector amid sustained growth in demand derived from tablet and PC desktop computers and TVs. Another research institute WitsView stated that display panel makers will continue to benefit from anticipated growth in global shipments of TVs, which is expected to grow by 3.2 percent year-on-year to reach 210.8 billion units. In addition, there are no signs of inventory pileup throughout the supply chain, as a result, production capacity utilization rates across the sector are anticipated to hold at high levels, added WitsView.

Institutional investors noted that they will be scrutinizing several factors in AUO's upcoming developments, including progress in the company's 4K high definition panel production, and the construction schedule of its Qunshan-based sixth generation low temperature poly-silicon manufacturing plant, in addition to the outcomes of the firm's lingering antitrust and price-fixing trials in U.S. courts.

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