Touch panel maker previews new metal mesh technology

TAIPEI - Display panel maker JTOUCH (介面光電) announced its third quarter results at an earnings conference yesterday, with its earnings-per-share performance dipping to minus NT$0.96 (S$0.04) over the period, following heightened competition in the field.

The company had previously recorded losses for the past two consecutive years, and produced a short-lived rebound in profitability in the second quarter of this year. In the third quarter, the company incurred losses of NT$132 million, with revenues falling 45 per cent quarter-on-quarter to NT$1.809 billion. Profit margin was recorded at 6.76 per cent over the period.

For the first three quarters of this year, the company accumulated revenues of NT$7.2 billion, up 125 per cent year-on-year. The company, however, incurred losses of NT$244 million, recording an earnings-per-share performance of minus NT$1.61, on average quarterly profit margins of 5.18 per cent.

The company yesterday rejected reports that it may be acquired by Quanta Computers (廣達). JTOUCH explained that the 1.53-per cent stake, or 2.1 million shares held by Quanta as part of its overall investment strategy, and not part of any acquisition scheme. Incidentally, investors responded exuberantly to rumours of JTOUCH's acquisition by Quanta, propelling the former's share price to to a 7-per cent gain at the end of Thursday's session. Following the company's statement, JTOUCH yesterday tumbled 4.18 per cent, or NT$1, and closed at NT$22.95 at yesterday's closing.