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Largan shares challenge NT$3,000 again

Largan shares challenge NT$3,000 again

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Shares of Largan Precision Co. (???), one of Taiwan's leading smartphone camera lens makers, rose above NT$3,000 (US$96.46) again on Wednesday morning amid optimism over the company's earnings prospects, dealers said. The surge also came after several foreign brokerages raised their target prices for the stock as foreign institutional investors continue to increase their holdings of the company's shares, dealers said. As of 10:51 a.m., shares of Largan had added 2.55 percent to NT$3,020.00, with 563,000 shares changing hands. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange was up 0.91 percent at 9,620.27. "Optimism over Largan's earnings outlook has been growing after its first quarter results (were released last week). It was no surprise the stock continued to challenge the 3,000 mark today after a failed attempt yesterday," Taishin Securities Investment Advisory analyst Tony Huang said. At one point on Tuesday, shares of Largan hit NT$3,010, a new intraday high for the stock, before some investors locked in earlier gains to stall the stock's momentum. It closed 0.34 percent higher at NT$2,945.00. "Interest in Largan shares has been boosted by its better-than-expected results for the first quarter, in particular its gross margin, which reinforced investor confidence in the company's earnings prospects," Huang said. Largan beat market expectations with a gross margin of 56.7 percent for the January-March period, about 6 percentage points higher than in the previous quarter. The market had previously anticipated that Largan's first- quarter gross margin would be little changed. "With its lead over its peers in camera lens production technology, Largan made a significant improvement in its product portfolio by adding more high-end devices, which has lifted its gross margin," Huang said. "I think the company will continue to maintain its lead in the industry." Huang said Largan has become a favorite of foreign institutional investors, even as they become the only investor segment able to afford Largan's share price, the highest of any stock in Taiwan's equity market. "I think foreign institutional investors are continuing to raise their stake in the company," Huang said. According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors held a 48.35 percent stake in Largan as of Tuesday, up from 43.03 percent at the end of last year. Among the upbeat foreign brokerages, Credit Suisse has raised its target price on Largan shares to NT$3,280, from NT$2,940 previously, while CLSA has maintained its target price at NT$3,460, the highest among the foreign brokerages so far. Meanwhile, shares of Hermes Microvision Inc. (???), a leading Taiwan-based semiconductor inspection tool and equipment supplier, hit an intraday high of NT$2,010.00 on Wednesday morning, also due to an upbeat mood toward its earnings prospects. As of 10:51 a.m., Hermes shares had added 5.03 percent to NT$1,985.00 on trading volume of 376,000 shares. "With semiconductor makers scrambling to upgrade their technology processes, there is no doubt that Hermes will continue to be one of the beneficiaries," Huang said. "Foreign institutional investors have also favored Hermes shares." The stock is the second most expensive stock in the local market. (By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-25 07:58 GMT+08:00