Another Month, Another HTC Revenue Drop

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HTC provides monthly updates on its revenue in a fairly nonchalant way. Equally nonchalant, news outlets typically report the latest HTC revenue drop. The two events have become that much of a routine of late.

The February 2019 figures are now in and nothing has changed in this respect.

HTC today confirmed its unaudited revenue for February 2019 came in at NT$ 0.63 billion. This works out to be roughly $20 million in US. Event at the month-over-month level that's pretty bad considering HTC announced roughly $32 million the month before.

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Which itself was pretty bad considering HTC announced $44 million in December of 2018. This too was bad enough considering HTC announced $48 million in November 2018. The trend is evident and continually negative.

While some may argue these drops don't seem that bad given the overall proportions. For example, 48 down to 44, down to 32, down to 22. You do only have to look at the year-over-year figures to get a understanding of how bad these figures actually are for HTC.

In February 2018 HTC reported NT$ 2.61 billion which translates to $89.16 million in US. What makes the matter worse is not only was that down from January 2018 ($116 million), but at the time it was largely considered an all-time-low for the company.

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Evidently, with revenue dropping year-over-year from $89 million to $20 million for this month, that all-time status has been repeatedly, and almost monthly, eclipsed.

Probably more worrying for HTC is the yearly cumulative total. As although HTC's 2018 annual revenue of $770 million was pretty low by HTC's standards, that figure was largely bolstered by the combined total of $205 million for January and February of 2018. The rest of the year slided down very quickly after that.

If you then compare on that basis, HTC has now confirmed the 2019 January and February combined total as $52 million. That's less than one quarter of the total for the same period last year and points to 2019 as a whole being incomparably worse than 2018 was. Again, 2018 was already the company's worst year, in years.

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Of course, HTC does still have ten months of the year to turn things around and the company may be able to do that. Like many other smartphone brands in 2019, HTC does plan on launching a 5G phone this year and that may help to add some additional sales that would not have been available last year. In fact, in spite of some of the competition having already announced their 5G options, the later in the year the better for HTC considering 5G networks at the consumer level largely remain a no-go for now.

Although, the later it is in the year, the less likelihood of that device helping to bolster this year's revenue.

Reports have also surfaced this week suggesting HTC might look to license its brand name out in a similar way to what BlackBerry Mobile and Nokia did. This particular approach has so far proved successful for BlackBerry Mobile and Nokia and therefore may also prove to be equally as financially beneficial to HTC going forward.

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What is clear, is something does need to change if HTC's monthly revenue updates are to change. Although in fairness, and has been seen in the last few months, the rate of decline is at least getting better – by virtue of the revenue getting closer and closer to zero.