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HTC Beats off loss, but shares slip after disappointing quarter

Mobe-maker squeaks in with sale of stake in headphone firm

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HTC saw its shares slip 3.61 per cent in Taiwan as it narrowly avoided a quarterly loss, saved only by booking a profit from selling its stake in headphone brand Beats Electronics.

The Taiwanese smartphone maker reported a worse-than-expected net profit yesterday, of just $300m ($10m) compared to a net loss in the previous quarter of $99.9m and a profit of $34m in the same quarter last year. Analysts were hoping for a profit in the region of $24.3m, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The only reason the company was able to make even that much profit was down to a one-off profit of $85m from its sale of its stake in Beats Electronics. The sale is part of its cost-cutting campaign, adopted to try to wrestle some profits back into a firm that used to ride high in the smartphone market.

Despite the fact that critics and reviewers still rate its Android mobes quite highly, HTC has seen its portion of the mobile market chewed up by Apple and Samsung. As well as cutting costs in its factories and rejigging its executives, the company has attempted to get back in with the kids with an advertising campaign featuring Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr, but so far its moves are not showing results in the books. ®

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