HTC posts first-ever quarterly loss

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HTC posts first-ever quarterly loss

As troubles multiply.

Phone maker HTC slid into the red for its first time ever in the third quarter, with sales hit hard by fierce competition in the smartphone market, supply chain constraints and internal turmoil.

Underscoring a dramatic decline for a company which boasts award-winning smartphones but has failed to develop a durable brand of handsets, HTC posted an operating loss of T$3.5 billion (AU$126 million) as sales for the quarter tumbled by a third from the same period a year earlier.

At a net level, it booked a loss of T$2.97 billion, bigger than an expected loss of T$1.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters SmartEstimates. That compares with a net profit of T$3.9 billion in the same quarter last year.

Its shares were down 2.3 percent in early trade.

HTC lacks the scale of bigger rivals Apple and Samsung and its troubles this year have only multiplied.

In addition to internal feuding and executive exits, sources have said that it is facing casing shortages for its HTC One Mini. It has also lost some patent cases and media have reported that three of its design executives have been arrested on suspicion of leaking trade secrets.

HTC's share of the global smartphone market has plummeted from a peak of 9.1 percent in 2011 to 2.6 percent in the most recent quarter, according to research firm Gartner and analysts have said it needs a wholesale reevaluation of its strategy in order to survive.

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