HTC‘s stock has taken such a dive in recent months that, this morning, the company’s market value is now less than the cash it has on hand. In its most recent earnings, the Taiwanese manufacturer stated that it had NT$47.2 billion (New Taiwanese Dollar) cash. Today, its market price dropped to NT$47 billion, effectively making the company worthless to shareholders.
Originally reported by Bloomberg, this is a pretty damning turn of events for HTC. One analyst from Sinopac Financial Holdings stated that “HTC’s cash is the only asset of value to shareholders.” So its other assets like buildings and factories are worth nothing. What’s more, investors clearly aren’t confident in the future of the company either. A feeling perhaps based on this year’s flagship model, the HTC One M9, being just a modest upgrade to last year’s all-metal smartphone. And also the fact that now, lesser-known Chinese manufacturers are on the rise and capable of producing competitive smartphones at much lower prices.
HTC’s approach to dealing with this almost-collapse is to cut costs by focussing on the high end of the market where margins are higher. It’s a bold move, and one that might backfire for the company. Especially if the next few flagship devices continue to lose out heavily to the likes of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy series. In my mind, the solution would be to ensure it has fewer items in its inventory and ensure supply doesn’t massively outweigh demand like it does currently.
How this turns out for HTC isn’t something easily predicted, but right now, it’s not looking so good for the company that once churned out hits like the popular Evo handset in 2010.