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HTC shares boosted by VR device, Bill Gates praise

HTC shares boosted by VR device, Bill Gates praise

Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) Shares of Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC Corp. (???) were boosted Friday morning by optimism toward its bottom line as it prepares to release its HTC Vive, a virtual reality device, likely in December, dealers said. The optimism was also fueled by praise for the HTC Vive from Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gate, who tweeted that the device was "very cool" after trying it for a virtual tennis game, dealers said. The current buying also reflects a rebound of HTC's sales for October on the back of its latest HTC One A9 smartphone, dealers said. As of 11:46 a.m., shares of HTC had climbed 2.58 percent to NT$83.60 (US$2.59) with 18.54 million shares changing hands. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange was down 1.49 percent at 8,718.47 points. "Since HTC shares breached the NT$80 mark yesterday, investors have been more willing to chase prices," KGI Securities analyst Phil Chu said. "The tweet by Gates simply sparked the interest of investors who had been upbeat about the HTC Vive." In his tweet, Gates posted an image of him playing a virtual match against Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova via the HTC Vive. "Got to sample VR breakthroughs, including the chance to return @MariaSharapova's serve. Very cool," Gates tweeted. International business news services have reported that the HTC Vive is likely to go on sale in the global market in December in time for the Christmas shopping season. The HTC Vive, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress show in March, was developed jointly with U.S. video game supplier Valve. "The HTC Vive is leading the rise in HTC shares, but I have to say that the VR device market is relatively small the company has no real sales numbers yet," Chu said. "Investors should pay close attention to HTC's smartphone shipments and its encouraging sales data for October." Since the HTC One A9 smartphone went on sale in October, HTC has seen a spike in sales. Last month, its consolidated sales rose 25.92 percent from September to NT$8.95 billion, the highest monthly figure since May, when it registered NT$10.79 billion. However, the October sales data represented a 43.2 percent drop year-on-year. At an investor conference in late October, Chang Chia-lin (???), chief financial officer and president of global sales at HTC, said the company's operations were improving in the fourth quarter. Chang said that while HTC may post a net loss again in the fourth quarter, it would be lower than the NT$5.41 loss per share recorded in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, Chu said that foreign institutional investors have been buying HTC shares this week, registering a net buy of about 6.88 million shares so far. "The stock may continue to trend higher until it reaches the nearest technical resistance point of NT$88-NT$90," Chu said. (By Esme Jiang and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-18 16:56 GMT+08:00