Ina Fried

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HTC Earnings and Sales Grow Steeply, but at Low End of Prior Forecast

Smartphone maker HTC said on Monday that smartphone growth — particularly in China — allowed it to post a 68 percent increase in profits, as unit shipments nearly doubled from a year earlier.

Selling more than 13 million devices, the company posted earnings of $625 million (18.7 billion Taiwan dollars), or 73 cents per share, on revenue of $4.54 billion. Sales were notably strong in China, where the company saw sales volume nine times that of a year earlier. The sales and unit numbers were close to, but just shy of, the forecast that HTC issued in July.

“We aim to lead the way as the smartphone market continues to expand and change rapidly,” HTC CEI Peter Chou said in a statement. “We pride ourselves on anticipating market and consumer needs and addressing them before they are realized. We are growing rapidly and responsibly around the globe and continue to expand our leadership in new areas, such as LTE.”

The company’s average selling price of $344 per device was up less than 1 percent from a year ago, and down slightly from last quarter’s $349.

Looking ahead, the company forecasts that fourth-quarter revenue will be about $4.18 billion to $4.51 billion, which would be a 20 percent to 30 percent increase from a year ago, with gross margins of around 28 percent. Unit shipments are expected to be around 12 million to 13 million, a 31 percent to 42 percent increase from a year ago.

HTC plans to expand its presence in China by distributing in 2,000 additional retail locations; a new factory will boost the company’s output capacity by 40 million units a year.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus