Lextar Maintains Profitable for 1Q19; Epistar Announces Loss due to Market Weakness

Taiwan-based LED manufacturers Lextar and Epistar announced their financial reports for the first quarter of 2019. Both companies posted an on-year degrease for 1Q19; however, Lextar managed to stay profitable while Epistar had a loss in the past two quarters with impacts from the US-China dispute.

Lextar registered revenues of NT$2.167 billion (US$70.13 million) for 1Q19 with an on-year decrease of 18.15% and an on-quarter decrease of 10%. Net profit came to NT$113 million (US$3.66 million). The company also posted a revenue of NT$815 million (US$26.38 million) for April 2019, which grew by 15.8% MoM and down by 18.05% YoY.

With its Mini LED backlight product shipped in 2018, Lextar continued to strengthen its development of Mini LED products. The company rolled out highly integrated Mini LED modules which perform advanced dynamic contrast. Automotive applications including matrix LED lighting module and 3D sensing components are also focuses of the company with several concept products demonstrated at trading events. The vertical integrated LED company said it has accelerated developments for visible and non-visible LEDs.

LED chip producer Epistar has been affected by the market weakness due to oversupply and the on-going US-China trade dispute. For the first quarter of 2019, the company registered revenues of NT$3.753 billion (US$121.45 million), down by 10.98% QoQ and 27.09% YoY. Gross margin was -11.28% and net loss came to NT$1.11 billion (US$35.95 million).

Due to market uncertainty caused by the trade war, Epistar has suffered by weak demand with stagnant orders, leading to a continuous loss since 4Q18. The company expects that its clients will begin to place orders for the high season in the second half of the year. However, the tariffs warning by Trump might aggravate the issue of oversupply in the LED industry, resulting in an even more static market. Therefore, the business rebound expected by Epistar might not be strong enough.

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