HTC Dips Back Into The Red, Posting Q1 Loss Of $62M

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HTC has posted another loss-making quarter. The company has released unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2014 today, posting a net loss before tax of NT$1.88 billion ($62.06 million) on quarterly revenue of NT$33.12 billion ($1.1 billion).

That’s the second loss-making quarter in the past three quarters for HTC. Last year the company posted a Q3 net loss of NT$3 billion ($102 million) — its first ever loss-making quarter, albeit one which came as no surprise after more than a year of sliding sales in the fiercely competitive Android handset space.

HTC then narrowly avoided another loss making quarter in Q4 — reporting net profit after tax of NT$0.31 billion (circa $10.3 million) on total revenues of NT$42.89 billion ($1.4 billion).

However that marginal Q4 profit was attached to a one-time windfall from HTC selling its stake in Beats Audio. Now the company has swung back to another loss in Q1 — a loss which Reuters notes as being wider than analyst estimates.

The Taiwanese mobile maker, which revealed its latest flagship smartphone at the end of last month (the HTC One M8), is going to need to shift an awful lot of M8 handsets if it’s to pull its business out of the fiscal doldrums. Any positive momentum from the release of that new flagship won’t be felt until Q2.

HTC said its operating loss for Q1 was NT$2.05 billion, and net loss after tax was -NT$2.28 per share based on 823,438 thousand weighted average number of shares.

One bright spot for HTC is that sales in March climbed nearly 2.2% — to NT$16.2 billion – which Bloomberg notes is the first such increase in monthly revenue since October 2011. HTC said it’s expecting revenue to continue growing this month, and throughout Q2.

“The company expects to see positive trajectory of its revenue in April from March and forecasts quarter-on-quarter revenue growth in the second quarter,” it said in a statement.

In addition to the flagship One M8, HTC bulked up its mid-range Desire line with a new phablet and mid range handset announced in February. It has previously said it intends to focus on lower priced devices to try to drive sales volume.