HTC flounders in Q1 on flagship HTC One delays

Summary:The Taiwanese giant's flagship phone for the year so far launched too late to give HTC any reprieve during the quarter, suffering delay after delay in its release schedule.

In January, HTC chief executive Peter Chou said the "worst for HTC has probably passed." Think again.

The HTC One's delays are likely the cause of the Taiwanese company's dismal first quarter results after it announced on Thursday that it generated just $2.85 million, down from $152 million a year ago — a 98 percent drop year over year.

htc-one-large
HTC One Image: CNET

HTC's Q1 represents the company's most dismal quarterly profit since 2004.

Revenue was also down to just $1.45 billion, although it was in line with its previously rounded-down estimates in April. HTC said initially in February that was expecting between $1.66bn-1.99bn for the quarter , but issued a warning a month ago on revised sales projections.

HTC's gross margin came in at 20.3 percent — by comparison, Apple's is almost double that — and its operating margin was 0.1 percent. Earnings per share stood at $0.003, a third of one U.S. cent.

Chou said today: "This was a pivotal quarter for HTC." He followed:

The reviews of fans and critics alike have been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to delivering on the promise of this device. 

At the moment, mostly reviewers have only been able to get their hands on the long-awaited device. There wasn't a shred of reason behing the reported shipment delays of the HTC One handset in today's quarterly earnings report.

The device should have been in hands by mid-March, but non-specific "manufacturing delays" led to a push-back into April — by which point rival devices were already out on the market, notably Samsung's Galaxy S4. HTC missed a beat during a quiet patch in the smartphone release schedule.

Now the phone is out on the market, there's hope that the company can rebound in the coming quarter. While the firm's outlook isn't great, it's certainly better than the quarter it just reported.

Looking ahead, HTC's Q2 revenue is expected to be around $2.36 billion, with a bump in gross profit and operating margin to be 22-24 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. 

Topics: HTC

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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