Foxconn's third quarter profit slides below estimates after iPhone X production hurdles

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's Foxconn <2317.TW>, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, saw quarterly profit slide 39 percent - a result far below estimates and widely attributed to production issues for Apple Inc's <AAPL.O> iPhone X.

While shoppers have flooded into stores this month to buy Apple's 10th anniversary version of its premium smartphone, the product has faced a string of production hurdles centered on new technologies and features.

Questions remain as to whether Apple can meet demand for the iPhone X during the crucial holiday quarter, with most analysts saying it will likely take it until next year or early spring to do so.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, said third-quarter net profit tumbled to T$21 billion ($700 million), some 42 percent below an average estimate of seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue for the quarter was flat.

Shares in Foxconn fell 2.4 percent in early Wednesday trade, underperforming the broader Taiwan market which was down 0.5 percent.

Apple, however, reported better-than-expected earnings earlier this month and offered a rosy forecast for the holiday shopping season.

"I think in the fourth quarter we expect to see a recovery (for Foxconn) because utilization will get better given the iPhone ramp-up," said Daiwa analyst Kylie Huang.

"So November/December should be better but still will be impacted overall in the fourth quarter."

Apple said it sold 46.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended Sept. 30, above analysts' estimates of 46.4 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet.

(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Anne Marie Roanrtree and Edwina Gibbs)

11/14/2017 21:31

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