The Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer’s cash reserves exceed its market capitalization, accentuating a financial crisis that seems inescapable for a former profit machine and industry dominator.
Forget climbing back the Android OEM ranks, HTC’s very survival could be at stake if recent share price plunges aren’t overturned. According to Bloomberg’s latest analysis, the makers of the handsome but ill-fated One M9 saw their stock value depreciated by a whopping 60 percent this year alone.
Going further back in the company’s tumultuous history, the business publication reports an overall drop of, get this, 95 percent from 2011. Just four years ago, the tech giant’s financial worth was estimated at NT$900 billion, a number that staggeringly tumbled to NT$47B.
Converted into currency you may be more familiar with, we’re talking only USD 1.5 billion or so here, despite liquidities held in June of NT$47.2B. Translation – if someone were to spend the cash money on, say, a couple of islands, Greece’s bailout or another ridiculous Robert Downey Jr.-led ad campaign, HTC’s investors would be left with nothing. Nada. Zero value as far the brand, production facilities or corporate headquarters are concerned.
Any ingenious plans to turn things around, and perhaps surpass a few rapidly rising Chinese players in a top ten resurgence? Analysts don’t think so, even if “cuts across the board” should enable a more streamlined product portfolio, with an increased focus on the high-end segment.
Speaking of high-end, an “intermediate” Aero phone was expected out before the holiday season and a long overdue design revolution rumored for H1 2016. But is the strategy still on, or will imminent changes affect these parts of the schedule as well? Let’s wait and see, and pause the speculation for a while. It’s healthier that way.