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Japan

Mobile/ Wireless

Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company, a company engaged in the electronic communications business, announced full year results for twelve months ended March 2010. The company reported revenues of 45.46 billion yen (US$483 million) and net income of 5.89 billion yen (US$62.6 million). The figures reflect a 1.4% and 1.7% increase respectively over the previous year.

Telecommunications

KDDI Corp. (OTCPK:KDDIY), a leading telecom company announced financial results for twelve months ending March 2010. Revenues declined by 1.6% to 3.44 trillion yen (US$36.58 billion), while net income dropped by 4.5% to 212.76 billion yen (US$2.25 billion).

Software

TDI Co. Ltd., a data processing software developer, announced full year results for twelve months ending March 2010. The company’s revenues fell by 29.7% to 11.67 billion yen (US$124 million), while net income fell by 44.3% to 269 million yen (US$$2.86 million).

Hardware

Sharp (OTCPK:SHCAY), Panasonic (PC), Fujitsu (OTCPK:FJTSY) and NEC (OTC:NELTY), leading Japanese Electronics companies, have decided to standardize their core software platform for next generation cell phones. The move is expected to cut development cost by 50% and increase competitiveness. The unified software will make its debut in NTT DoCoMo’s (NYSE:DCM) next generation handset due to be launched in the next financial year.

Hitachi Ltd. (HIT), a storage equipment manufacturer, which competes with Seagate Technologies (NASDAQ:STX) and Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ:WDC) in the hard disk drive market, announced 42% year-on-year growth in revenues of US$1.46 billion for the first three months of the current year. The company also reported operating profit of US$217 million for the quarter compared to an operating loss of US$57 million for the same period last year. The company said that it will continue to post very favorable results for the rest of the year.

Semiconductor

New Japan Radio, a manufacturer of semiconductors and microwave related equipment, announced full year results for 12 months ending March 2010. The company reported a 12% decline in revenues to 40.29 billion yen (US$36.58 million) and a net loss of 10 billion yen (US$106.4 million), compared to a net loss of 2.78 billion yen (US$29.6 million) in the previous year.

Shinko Electric Industries Co. Ltd., a major manufacturer of semiconductor packages and leadframes, announced full year results for fiscal year 2010. The company’s consolidated sales stood at 129.8 billion yen (US$1.38 billion), while net income stood at 3.1 billion yen (US$32 million). The figures reflect a fall of 0.76% and an increase of 82.3% respectively.

Semiconductor manufacturer Elpida Memory Inc. announced financial results for fiscal year ending March 2010. The company’s revenues grew by 35% to 466 billion yen (US$4.96 billion), while net income stood at 2 billion yen (US$21 million).

Korea

Hardware

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) announced the acquisition of Nortel’s (OTCPK:NRTLQ) stake in a Korean joint venture with LG Electronics (OTC:LGERF). The company will pay US$242 million for the purchase, which is expected to give the company access to the Korean telecom equipment market. The joint venture was set up in 2005 between Nortel and LG Electronics to supply equipment to companies like KT Corp, LG Telecom and SK Telecom and generated revenues of US$650 million in 2009. Nortel filed for bankruptcy in January.

LG Display beat analyst forecasts to report better than expected financial results for three months ending March 2010. The company’s revenues stood at 5.88 trillion won (US$5.3 billion), while net profit was reported to be 649 billion won (US$585 million). The company expects LCD panel prices to hold up in the current quarter and will see increases LCD shipments in the next quarter. The company increased its capital expenditure plans by 1.5 trillion won (US$1.35 billion) to 5.5 trillion won (US$4.95 billion). LG Display is the second largest television manufacturer in the world.

Semiconductor

Hynix Semiconductor Corp., a leading semiconductor manufacturer, announced revenues of 2.8 trillion won (US$2.52 billion) and operating profit of 800 billion won (US$721.5 million) for the first quarter ending March 2010. The company’s best results in over 3 years reflect a 100% increase in revenues. The company had registered an operating loss in the corresponding period in the previous year. Global chip makers are enjoying a revival due to increased consumer demand for products like automobiles and mobile handsets which contain semiconductor chips.

China

Mobile/ Wireless

Lenovo Group (OTCPK:LNVGY) announced plans to launch its new range of smartphones and predicted that revenues from sale of smartphones and other mobile and wireless devices would contribute about 20% to its overall revenues in five years. The company, which had sold its mobile phone business previously, bought it back last year as part of its new strategy. Lenovo is the fourth largest PC maker in the world and is focusing on new technologies and devices that take advantage of the trend of telecom convergence currently. The company released a touch-screen smartphone running on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android last year and plans to unveil a range of mobile internet devices, including low-cost notebooks and PCs. In related company information, Lenovo has reportedly emerged as a potential buyer for beleaguered U.S smartphone maker Palm Inc. (PALM).

China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) announced results for three months ended March 2010. The company’s operating revenues stood at 109 billion yuan (US$16.0 billion), an increase of about 8.5% over the same period last year, while net income was 25 billion Yuan (US$1.3 billion), a marginal increase over the previous year. Saturation in the 2G market in China and heavy subsidies on handsets affected the company’s profitability. Mobile companies in China are betting on 3G to boost growth in the future.

Telecommunications

The Chinese Ministry of Information and Industry Technology reported that Chinese mobile companies spent about US$880 million on 3G network infrastructures for the first quarter of 2010. The companies, which spent about US$21 billion on the same last year, added 4.8 million 3G subscribers in the first three months of the years. China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) control 42%, 30.8% and 26.7% of this market respectively.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NYSE:NOK) announced new deals in China worth 750 million euros (US$ 1 billion). The company signed agreements with China Mobile and China Unicom to supply GSM and TD-SCDMA network equipment and IP multimedia subsystem solution. The company will also provide its proprietary direct tunnel packet core technology to the telcos.

Media, Entertainment and Gaming

Leading game developer and publisher The9 announced financial results for 2009. The company recorded net loss of 410 million yuan (US$60 million) while revenue went down by 55.6% from 2008 figures to 802.63 million yuan (US$117.4 million). The company had recorded net profit of 96.2 million yuan (US$14.1 million) in 2008. The company attributed the slump in revenue to the loss of the operating license for ‘World of Warcraft’, a 3D MMORPG.

Tencent (OTCPK:TCTZF) which operates the largest online game community in China, announced the acquisition of the remaining 40% stake in Shenzhen Domain Networks (SDN) that is already does not own. Tencent is expected to pay 162.5 million yuan (US$23.8 million) for the acquisition. The company had first purchased a 19.9% stake in SDN in 2005 and later increased its holding to 60%. SDN is an online gaming company which developed 2D MMORPG best selling title, ‘QQ Huaxia’.

Software and gaming company Kingsoft announced plans to enter the Europe and U.S markets with its new 3D martial arts game titles. The company expects revenues from its overseas business to contribute to at least 20% of total revenues in the next two years from the current level of 14%. The company is also considering the establishment of a subsidiary company in Taiwan, to take advantage of the country’s strength in game development and operations. The company already operates a fully owned subsidiary in Malaysia. Kingsoft generated revenues of 1.0 billion yuan (US$ 150 million) in 2009.

Online game company Perfect World (NASDAQ:PWRD) announced plans to invest 100 million yuan (US$14.6 million) in Zongheng.com in 2010. Zongheng is Perfect World’s online literature portal. The investment will be directed towards creation of upstream content for the portal.

Alternative Energy

Solar module producer Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ) lowered its forecasts for gross margins for the first quarter of 2010. The company expects to incur a foreign exchange loss of US$20 million, which might lower its gross margins from about 15%-16% to about 13%. The company also announced that the lower gross margin figure might extend into the second quarter also.

Disclosure: Author holds no positions in the stocks mentioned.

Source: Asian Tech Stock Weekly Review (April 19 – 25, 2010)