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Hardware
Fujitsu Ltd. (OTCPK:FJTSY) raised its full-year profit forecast almost four-fold after selling a 5 percent stake in Fanuc Ltd. Net income will probably reach 95 billion yen (US$1 billion) in the year ending March 2010. The company had a 112.4 billion yen (US$1.2 billion) net loss last fiscal year. Fujitsu gained 89 billion yen (US$942.9 million) from the sale of 12 million Fanuc shares. The sale reduced the company’s holding in Fanuc to almost zero.
Sony Corp. (SNE) cut the price of its flagship PlayStation 3 by 25 percent to narrow the gap with better- selling machines from Nintendo Co. (OTCPK:NTDOY) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) The new price is US$299. The company will introduce a slimmer version of the PS3 at the same price in the first week of September, and replace those now in stores. The moves, greeted with cheers at the European game conference, may spur sales of the PS3 after shipments tumbled to a two-year low in the second quarter. The price cut is needed to meet sales projections of 13 million consoles worldwide in the year ending March 2010. Sales fell to 37 percent. The Networked Products & Services Group, led by Kazuo Hirai, 48, recorded the biggest loss among the company’s divisions.
Sony Corp. (SNE) plans to boost its joint parts purchases with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB to cut costs and help the struggling cellular phone joint venture. The two already jointly purchase capacitors and now plan to expand the list of products to include components used in both Sony's electronics and Sony Ericsson's cell phones. Sony, which competes with Canon in digital cameras and Samsung Electronics in flat TVs, will notify key parts suppliers of its plan as early as this month and will start joint price negotiations. By increasing their purchasing volumes, the companies plan to bolster their leverage in price negotiations with suppliers.
Fujitsu Ltd. announced that three models in its Primergy series of personal computer servers have been certified to run the Asianux Server 3 operating system, a multilanguage Linux platform. Armed with this authorization, Fujitsu aims to work with vendor Asianux Corp. to push into the Asian markets for PC servers, particularly China, where the Linux server market is growing at a double-digit pace. The Asianux Consortium has five members Linux vendors from Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. Each partner takes responsibility for marketing and support in their home country. This authorization puts Fujitsu in a position to take advantage of features that can only be realized when the server hardware and the Asianux operating system software work hand in hand.
Canon (CAJ) looks to China for one fifth of the company's global digital camera revenue in the next couple of years. The company's confidence springs from the judgment that the global economic crisis had not impacted China's digital camera market as much as earlier estimated.
Semiconductor
Sanyo Electric Co. (OTC:SANYY) will supply Toyota (TM) with batteries from about 2011. Lithium-ion batteries have higher output and capacity than the nickel-metal hydride type that Toyota uses in the Prius and other hybrid vehicles.
Orders for Japanese equipment used to make semiconductors outpaced sales for the fourth straight month in July as the chip sector inches out of its worst-ever downturn. Back-to-school demand for PCs is helping chip sales scramble up from record low levels, nudging up spending at Intel Corp, the world's largest chipmaker, and helping outlook at memory chip giant Samsung Electronics. Orders for Japanese chip-making equipment rose for the fifth straight month in July to 50.5 billion yen (US$533 million) outpacing sales of 36.8 billion yen (US$389 million), calculations based on industry data showed. The orders were still down 46 percent from a year earlier.
The financial results for the April-June 2009 fiscal first quarter posted by Japan's four major dedicated semiconductor makers showed marked improvements over the preceding quarter. Although there were still declines in both sales and profits on the year, the results appear to indicate that the worst was over for Japan's semiconductor industry, as a surge in demand for semiconductors used in flat-screen televisions and environmentally friendly cars like hybrid vehicles buoyed their performance. NEC Electronics’ (OTC:NELTY) plant utilization rate increased to 51 percent in the April-June quarter, from 43 percent in the previous quarter, due to better-than-expected demand for discrete semiconductors and semiconductors used in automobiles and cell-phone cameras. It added that the figure was likely to move up to 70 percent soon.
Elpida Memory Inc. (OTC:ELPDF) has entered into an agreement with Development Bank of Japan to raise 30,000 million yen (US$314.85 million) through the issue of its Series 1 and Series 2 preferred shares. The preferred shares, to be issued at a price of 10,000 yen (US$104.95) per share, are convertible into 23.683 million newly issued ordinary shares of Elpida at a conversion price of 1,377 yen (US$14.45) per Series 1 and 1,218 yen (US$12.78) per Series 2 preferred shares. The proceeds from the offering will be used by Elpida to implement its business restructuring plan, which includes investment in research and development and in capital expenditure.
Telecommunications
NEC Corp. (OTC:NIPNF) and Motorola Inc. (MOT) plan to provide wireless base stations for KDDI Corp.'s (OTC:KDDIF) next-generation mobile network. The LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard paves the way for cellular communications speeds on a par with fiber-optic lines, enabling users to download music CD in less than one minute and a two-hour movie in about five minutes. With an eye toward commercializing the technology in December 2012, KDDI plans to spend 515 billion yen (US$5.5 billion) on related capital investments through the end of fiscal 2014. The cellular service carrier solicited proposals from a wide range of equipment providers, including Chinese and European firms. It has already selected Hitachi Ltd. to build the network's core infrastructure.
Korea
Telecommunications
SK Telecom (OTC:SKMTF) will not invest in Vietnamese mobile operator S-Fone anymore due to low subscription growth. SK Telecom began investing in the joint venture in 2001 and has so far injected US$180 million in S-Fone.
The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is calling on operators to cut mobile voice prices, reports the Korea Times. The regulator plans to require operators to adopt three measures, including the introduction of non-subsidy-based phone charges, the expansion of pre-paid charge systems and the early adoption of an MVNO policy. The regulator believes that by not receiving subsidies from telecom operators, mobile users would cut their basic phone consumption, while pre-paid services could better meet the needs of low-volume users. The MVNO policy will enable operators to provide mobile services on a borrowed spectrum and thus allow the entry of new players on the market.
Hardware
Samsung Electronics Co. (OTC:SSNLF) will have its global mobile handset market surpass 20 percent for the first time in the second half of the year. Samsung is expected to sell some 117.8 million units during the July-December period, raising its global market share to 20.3 percent. The U.S. market researcher earlier said Samsung Electronics had a 19.2 percent market share in the second quarter this year, rising from 16 percent in the first quarter. Market share held by Nokia Corp. (NOK) will continue to drop in the second half of the year from the same period last year. Nokia's market share is expected to fall to 37.6 percent in the third quarter and 37 percent in the fourth quarter.
LG Electronics (OTC:LGERF) has increased its focus on the Japanese market and unveiled two phones for launch with NTT Docomo (DCM). The manufacturer has introduced two touchscreen phones, the L-06A and the L-04A, with the Japanese mobile operator. These are the first two models that were designed by LG Electronics' design centre in Tokyo, the JoongAng Daily reports citing Lee Gyu-hong, vice president of LG Electronics Japan. The company has also launched an aggressive marketing campaign which features Japanese actress Aoi Yu. LG targets sales in Japan of around 1.5 million units, three times more than last year.
Media, Gaming and Entertainment
Electronic Game Card, Inc. (EGMI) has signed a three-year license agreement with Kellof, Inc. for distribution of the Electronic GameCard, Electronic iQuizCard, and Electronic Edutainment PLAY Cards, into its South Korea clients and strategic affiliation with Borazone Co., Ltd. Company management expects the agreement, which contains yearly minimum royalty guarantees, to begin generating sales in the current year fourth quarter. One of the key distribution channels for Kellof will be with Borazone and directly with household leading global brands from Korea.
China
Internet
Alibaba.com Ltd. (OTC:ALBCF) decided to buy the business management software division from Alisoft Holding Ltd. for 208 million yuan (US$30.5 million) to increase operational efficiency. This is the first time Alibaba.com has acquired assets from its parent in a move to supplement its product offerings and generate new sources of revenue. The closing of the acquisition will be by Sept. 1. The business management software division, which has more than 250 employees, will be included with Alibaba.com's Information Technology Business Unit. The transfer of business management software division comprises application software product lines for small businesses, customer contracts and employees.
Alibaba's consumer-focused e-commerce site Taobao recorded transaction volume of 80.9 billion yuan (US$11.8 billion) in the first half of 2009, climbed 97 percent year-on-year. Taobao's gross merchandise volume was equal to 1.4 percent of China's total retail sales in the first half of the year. Taobao's registered users grew 101 percent year-on-year to 145 million as of June 30, 2009. 47 percent of Taobao users are between the ages of 26-35, while 39 percent are between the ages of 16-25. spending per order declined by 51.5 yuan (US$7.54) from last year due to the economic slow-down, but the overall number of orders rose by 184 percent as e-commerce gained broader acceptance among China's online population. Household goods have become the top selling category in terms of total sales transaction value for the first time.
Baidu Inc.’s (BIDU) new advertising system has slightly hurt revenue since its launch but could significantly boost revenue as soon as the current quarter. The new system more clearly differentiates paid advertisements from natural search results, and offers advertisers new tools to track the return on their investment. Baidu is in transition, using the new system for some but not all searches. Phoenix Nest began to have more criticism for not clearly differentiating ads from organic search results. Phoenix Nest has negatively affected its revenue due to incentives offered to advertisers to switch to the new system such as credit rebates to advertisers' accounts.
China Finance Online Co. Limited (JRJC) had net revenues of US$12.28 million for the quarter, down 16 percent year-on-year but climbed 4 percent quarter-on-quarter, for the second quarter of 2009. Individual customer subscription service fees accounted for 88 percent of net revenues in the quarter. Net loss attributable to China Finance Online was US$2.4 million in the second quarter of 2009, compared to net income of US$4.56 million for same period of 2008 and net loss of US$128,000 for the previous quarter. Predicting continued influence from the economic crisis in the coming quarters, China Finance Online guided third quarter net revenues in the range of US$12 million to US$13 million, compared to US$15.23 million in the year-ago period.
Mobile/ Wireless
China TechFaith Wireless Communication Technology Ltd. (CNTF) had net profit of US$ 4.5 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2009. Net revenue is US$49.8 million in the quarter, increasing by 2.4 percent quarter on quarter. Gross profit is US$9.5 million, climbing to 7.6 percent quarter on quarter compared with US$8.8 million in the first quarter; gross margin 19 percent. Operating expenses US$7.3 million. The company's revenue is expected to range from US$47 million to US$52 million in the third quarter.
Software
CDC Corporation (CHINA) had net income of US$3.34 million in the second quarter of 2009. Total revenues came to US$81.65 million over the period. CDC Corp's had subsidiary CDC Software remained the company's biggest revenue source, contributing US$50.61 million over the quarter, while CDC's IT consulting division, Global Services, brought in US$18.53 million. CDC Games had US$9.46 million during the three-month period, and separately listed portal operating subsidiary China.com added US$3.06 million.
Omnix Software has appointed Beijing Sinoprof Information Technologies as its partner in China. Sinoprof, one of the leading ERP consulting service providers in China, works with Chinese telecommunication operators including China Mobile and China Unicom. Sinoprof is in a strong position to advice operators throughout the region on their MSS/OSS solutions. Omnix Software solutions will be targeted at Sinoprof’s customers to assist them with extensive nationwide 3G site deployments. The upgraded networks are already being rolled out across China, but high quality, on-time service enhancements require a collaborative workflow system that can manage the processes for deploying the new equipment in the network.
Telecommunications
China Mobile (CHL) will likely report its first-half net profit rose 2.9 percent. Revenue for the six months ended June 30 likely rose 8.9 percent. China Mobile added 35.87 million subscribers in the first six months of this year, bringing its total subscriber base to 493.12 million at the end of June. Earnings growth momentum for China Mobile is slowing down due to the weakening economy and increasing competition from China Unicom and China Telecom. China Telecom is expected to report its first-half net profit likely fell 34 percent.
China Mobile had a sharp slowdown in profit growth for the first half as competition intensified and it added low-income subscribers in rural areas. Earnings growth momentum for China Mobile is slowing down due to the weakening economy and increasing competition from China Unicom and China Telecom. After the commercial launch of its third-generation mobile service in January, China Mobile has been striving to improve its network coverage and handset quality to add subscribers. The slowdown in its subscriber growth was due to higher mobile penetration in urban cities, but the company still sees room for growth in central and western China.
ZTE Corp. (OTCPK:ZTCOF) posted a 41.9 percent rise in second quarter net profit, boosted by huge spending on 3G networks by the country's three telecom carriers. ZTE second quarter earnings rose. Beijing has targeted spending of US$58.5 billion in 3G mobile network construction through 2011 after handing out long-delayed 3G licenses earlier this year. The results came after ZTE's first quarter profits rose 29 percent. The company's share price rose 72.3 percent in the first half of the year, almost doubling the 38.9 percent surge on Hong Kong's China Enterprises index over the same period.
China Telecom (CHA) has selected Huawei Technologies and Ericsson (ERIC) as the winners of its second round 40-gbps wave division multiplexing network equipment tender. Among the tender participants, which included all major WDM equipment suppliers in China, Huawei was selected to provide 87 percent of the total tender value, while Ericsson won 13 percent. The total value of the tender has not yet been revealed. The tender equipment will be used in the second phase of China Telecom's WDM network construction in the Yangtze River Delta and Zhujiang River Delta regions.
China Telecom said a damaged nine undersea cables caused by a major earthquake in south east of Taiwan is the cause for the disruptions to international telecom services. Five of the cables are used by China Telecom. The cables support phone and Internet services from the Chinese mainland to Taiwan, the U.S., Japan, Korea, and Singapore. Traffic is being rerouted through operational cables as they repair the damaged cables. Time for repair work was not given. The breakdown of the FNAL/RNAL cable, a key information conduit for northeast Asia, had caused disruption to services from China to the United States and Europe.
The three state-owned Chinese mobile operators, which were granted 3G licences in January, proposed to make 450 billion yuan (US$65.9 billion) investments in 3G services in the next two-and-a-half to three years. Each operator needs to develop at least 50 million 3G users, and try its best to reach 80 million in the next three years. With three 3G operators, the regulator expects to reach 240 million 3G users in three years, a target which is higher than the government's previous goal of 150 million in three years made in February. Analysts said the 240 million users target is much more aggressive and questioned how the government would achieve this. 3G penetration will reach 16 percent in 2012, based on a projection of a total number of mobile users of 938 million.
Information Technology
VanceInfo Technologies (VIT), one of the leading offshore outsourcing companies in China, is looking at fresh domestic acquisitions to boost its presence in the backroom operations of the financial industry, as firms in its key markets the U.S. and Europe begin to recover. The company plans to buy a few Chinese banking software companies valued between US$2-5 million. VanceInfo brought Hong Kong-based customer relationship services firm TP Corp. The acquisition enabled the company to gain access to some key accounts in Hong Kong, China and Southeast Asia. VanceInfo was also looking to close deals with potential new customers from the United States and European markets worth between US$5-10 million each. VanceInfo may provide application software development services for those new projects.
Technology
· AirMedia Group Inc. (AMCN) had net loss of US$7.0 million for the second quarter of 2009. Total revenues grew 23.7 percent year-on-year and 12.3 percent sequentially to US$36.8 million, of which revenues from digital frames in airports increased 50.3 percent year-on-year and 36.7 percent quarter-on-quarter to US$16.5 million, while revenues from airport digital TV screens fell 30.6 percent annually and 25.5 percent sequentially to US$9.1 million. The company generated US$3.9 million from airplane-based digital TV screens. The fees represent 77.3 percent of the quarter's net revenues, compared to 40.0 percent in the same period one year ago and 59.9 percent in the previous quarter.
Hardware
Dell (DELL) is entering the smart phone market for the first time through a cooperation deal with China Mobile Ltd. Dell’s handset model, mini3i, supports the company's new online platform which offers music, games, videos and other entertainment applications for download to mobile phones. The two companies are working together on the development of mobile devices. Major personal-computer makers, suffering from stiff competition and pricing pressure, have been turning their attention to a new market for growth - smart phones - which are mobile devices that offer access to e-mail and support other multimedia functions.
Alternative Energy
Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) had net income of US$18.9 million in the second quarter of 2009, as the financing customer increases, European demand and government incentive programs pushed module shipments up 34.3 percent year-on-year and 30.9 percent sequentially to 63.9MW. The company had net profit of US$17.1 million in the year-ago period and a net loss of US$10.6 million in the previous quarter. Second quarter earnings is US$5 million accounts receivable write-off, and US$13.7 million foreign currency exchange gain, because of the appreciation of the Euro against the U.S. dollar. Net revenues increased to 13.5 percent sequentially to US$150 million in the second quarter, but had 26.5 percent year-on-year decline due to falling module prices. Gross margin was up by 27.4 percent from 17.2 percent and 23.2 percent in the previous quarter and year-ago periods, respectively, as average silicon purchase prices fell.
Solargiga Energy Holdings had loss of 119.75 million yuan (US$17.5 million) in the six months ended June 2009. The company's turnover was down by 55.7 percent year-on-year. Solargiga attributed the decline in turnover to low product prices as last year's financial crisis knocked global demand. The group sees to put a new silicon ingot and wafer plant into full production in the fourth quarter of this year, bringing its annual output capacity to 4,000MT of ingot and 150 million wafers, equivalent to 400MW.
Zhejiang Yuhui Solar Energy Source Co Ltd plans to invest 4.8 billion yuan (US$702.5 million) to build a 150-megawatt on-grid solar project in the Taiyangshan Development Zone in Wuzhong, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The subsidiary plans to build the 3,600-Mu solar project in four phrases that will cost 640 million yuan (US$93.7 million), 1.92 billion yuan (US$281 million), 640 million yuan (US$93.7 million) and 1.6 billion yuan (US$234 million). The first phase will begin in January 2010. In addition, Zhejiang Yuhui Solar Energy Source also plans to invest 800 million yuan (US$117 million) to increase the annual output of a polycrystalline silicon plant in Jiashan County by 120-MW.
ET Solar has sold a total of 4.2MW of multicrystalline modules to three large Italian commercial projects, including both ground mounted and rooftop installations. Prato (1.3MW), Perugia (1MW) and Imola (1.9MW) are the three projects. The first two projects have already begun operation, while the third will be fully connected to the grid next month.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (YGE) second quarter’s total net revenues was 1,498.9 million yuan (US$219.5 million) with a PV module shipment volume increase of 72.3 percent quarter over quarter. Gross profit was 273.8 million yuan (US$40.1 million), with a gross margin of 18.3 percent. Operating income was 106.8 million yuan (US$15.6 million), with an operating margin of 7.1 percent. Net loss was 393.7 million yuan (US$57.6 million) and diluted loss per ordinary share and per ADS was 3.03 yuan (US$0.44) as a result of loss on debt extinguishment of 244.7 million yuan (US$35.8 million) and loss on derivative liabilities of 204.2 million yuan (US$29.9 million) in the quarter, both of which were non-recurring, non-cash charges.
Suntech Power Holdings (STP) booked net income of US$10.0 million in the second quarter of 2009, climbed from US$1.8 million in the prior quarter. Total net revenues for the period came to US$321.0 million, an increase of 1.7 percent sequentially. Suntech sees third quarter 2009 shipments to show 50 percent growth on a quarterly basis, while fourth quarter shipments will slide slightly quarter-on-quarter due to seasonality factors.
ReneSola (SOL) has won the right to build a 150MW on-grid solar power project in Taiyangshan Development Zone in Wuzhong city, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The project will have to require 4.8 billion yuan (US$706 million) in total investment and will be built in four phases over four years from 2010.
Media, Gaming and Entertainment
Aurora Interactive, founded by former 17Game Chief Technology Officer Fang Xiaori, received funding. 17Game is a unit of CDC Corporation's online gaming unit CDC Games. Aurora was established nearly two years ago and recently began load testing the 3D MMO.
Giant Interactive Group Inc. (GA) announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter ended June 2009 with net revenue of 364.1 million yuan (US$53.3 million). Gross profit was 309.5 million yuan (US$45.3 million). Gross profit margin for the second quarter 2009 was 85.0 percent. Net income attributable to the company's shareholders was 231.9 million yuan (US$34.0 million). Basic and diluted earnings per AD) were 1.03 yuan (US$0.15) and 0.99 yuan (US$0.15). Non-GAAP net income attributable to the Company's shareholders excluding non-cash share-based compensation was 239.8 million yuan (US$35.1 million). The margin of non-GAAP net income attributable to the Company's shareholders excluding non-cash share-based compensation was 65.9 percent. Basic and diluted non-GAAP earnings excluding non-cash share-based compensation per ADS were 1.06 yuan (US$0.16) and 1.03 yuan (US$0.15).
Source: Asian Tech Stock Weekly Summary (Week of 17 – 23 Aug 2009)