‘Inferior products’ to blame for weak HTC sales in Q4, Citigroup says

HTC cut its fourth-quarter guidance for the second time earlier this week, sending shares of the company’s stock to their lowest point in more than a year. The Taiwan-based smartphone vendor cut revenue estimates by roughly 23% for the fourth quarter as steep competition from Samsung, Apple and other companies will seemingly make HTC’s run at the top short-lived. But pent up demand for a new iPhone and Samsung’s ongoing charge are only half of the equation according to two Citigroup analysts. HTC’s weak fourth quarter is “driven more by inferior product than by macro reasons,” analysts Kevin Chang and Jonathan Gu wrote in a research note earlier this week according to Bloomberg. “We are most surprised by the lack of visibility and by how fast things deteriorate in the smartphone business.” Chang and Gu cut their price target on HTC stock to NT$463, dropping their earlier Buy rating to Neutral.

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