HTC Narrowly Avoids Another Quarterly Loss, Thanks To Beats Audio Stake Sale

Back in October, in its Q3 results, HTC reported its first ever quarterly loss — of around $102 million. Now, in unaudited consolidated results for its Q4, released quietly Sunday as the tech press’ gaze is focused on Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, HTC revealed it has narrowly avoided a second consecutive quarter of loss.

HTC reported net profit after tax of NT$0.31 billion (circa $10.3 million) on total revenues of NT$42.89 billion ($1.4 billion). In its Q4 outlook, back in November, HTC had said it expected revenue for the quarter to be in the range of NT$40 billion to NT$45 billion.

However the small profit HTC squeaked in the quarter appears attached to the one-time windfall from selling its stake in Beats Audio, rather than selling enough phones to get back in the black. In September, HTC said it intended to sell its 24.84% stake in the audio brand for $265 million. Bloomberg expected the deal to close in the fourth quarter.

HTC’s unaudited results for its Q4 also report an operating loss of NT$1.56 billion (close to $52 million). Unaudited earnings per share after tax were NT$0.38 based on 823,541 thousand weighted average number of shares, which falls within HTC’s earlier expected EPS range of NT$0.1 to NT$1.7.

While it’s narrowly avoided another quarterly loss, there’s no denying HTC is running out of room for manoeuvre in the Samsung-dominated Android smartphone space. And that 2014 is going to be a critical year for the company.