Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC fell as much as 8 per cent on Thursday after the company reported August sales had tumbled and local media suggested Google was in the late stages of discussions to buy its smartphone team.
Figures released on Wednesday showed HTC’s August sales had fallen 54 per cent year on year.
“We believe today’s share price movement was largely driven by the worse than expected August sales,” said Yuanta Securities analyst Jeff Pu.
Mr Pu questioned whether Google would be interested in HTC’s smartphone research and development team:
As for the potential Google deal, we believe it would be positive for HTC as it will allow the company to solely focus on the VR business. However, rationally we believe it’s unlikely that Google would be interested in HTC’s R&D team, as 1) Most elite engineer had left to other smartphone OEMs such Huawei, Lenovo or ASUS 2) HTC’s engineers shouldn’t be too hard to be poach away.
Taiwanese newspaper China Times reported Thursday morning, without providing any source, that Google was already in the late stages of discussions to buy HTC’s smartphone research and development team.
The claims follow a Bloomberg report in late August that the company, which has slipped from its ranking among the world’s top smartphone makers, was exploring options ranging from selling its Vive virtual reality headset business to spinning off the VR business or a full sale of the company.
HTC shares closed down 6.6 per cent in Taipei on Thursday.
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