US$2.68 Billion Loss According to DigiTimes, Taiwan’s five largest LCD panel manufacturers, AU Optronics (AUO), Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), Innolux Display and HannStar Display, reported a total loss of NT$88.31 billion (about US$2.68 billion) for the first half of 2009. With end-user demand for LCD goods, especially LCD TVs and larger LCD monitors, tanking globally amid one of the hardest-hitting recessions in recent history, the results are not surprising. The major loss was the worst reported for the five companies. However gloomy the first half was, LCD suppliers are expecting better times in the third quarter. LCD manufacturers are expecting average selling prices (ASPs) to increase 10-15% Q/Q as well as panel shipments by 15-20% Q/Q. With both prices and shipments increasing Taiwan’s largest LCD suppliers should turn a profit in the third quarter. Should.
Price Stable DisplaySearch recently published its PriceWise tracking service and it seems LCD panel prices for all types including notebook PCs, LCD monitor and LCD TV applications have stabilized in August. Stabilizing prices might mean that there is now a supply/demand balance. But, end-user demand in major LCD TV markets such as North America and Western Europe is still weak with demand coming from China somewhat offsetting the decline. So LCD suppliers shouldn’t bank on continued rising LCD panel prices and just expect unit shipments to increase to pad inventory in preparation for the fourth quarter.