Foxconn (FXCNY) , the world's biggest electronics manufacturer and Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) biggest supplier, posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Tuesday as smartphone and mobile sales jumped amid renewed global demand ahead of 5G network rollouts.
Foxconn said net profits for the three months ending in September rose 23% from last year to T$30.7 billion ($1 billion), topping the Refinitiv forecast of T$27.75 billion. Group revenues rose 1% to T$1.39 billion, Foxconn said, while profit margins improve by 40 basis points to 2.21%. Mobile device revenues jumped 17%, Foxconn said, offsetting a 12% slide in automation and networking systems sales.
Foxconn also forecast modest 2020 growth in its consumer electronics and smart device business, a view that echoes that of Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd., (TSM) after the world's biggest contract chipmaker, boosted its current quarter revenue forecast amid stronger-than-expected global demand for premium smartphones.
TSMC said last month that smartphone-related sales rose 45% from last year, lead by a 20% increase in China, with both figures prompting a sharp hike in 2019 capital expenditure plans, which the group now sees in the region of $14 billion to $15 billion.
Apple shares were marked 0.1% lower in pre-market trading Wednesday to indicate an opening bell price of $261.70 each, just over $1 from the all-time high of $262.79 it reached during yesterday's trading on Wall Street amid its staggering 66% year-to-date gain.
Apple's fourth quarter earnings, published late last month, showed a surge in wearable and home sales that offset another sales dip in China and the fourth consecutive quarter of declining iPhone sales. Looking into the current December quarter, Apple said it expects sales in the region of $85.5 billion to $89.5 billion, topping the Refinitiv consensus of $86.92 billion.
Apple is also preparing to ship around 80 million in new 5G iPhones next year, Japan's Nikkei Asian Review reported last month, as the tech giant enters the next generation wireless market that could provide a renewed boost in global demand.
Earlier this month, Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) shares surged to the highest level in nearly two decades after it posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and CEO Steve Mollenkopf told investors that the chipmaker was "well positioned for sustained long-term growth as we benefit from the decisions and investments made over the last several years, including 5G."
Counterpoint Research director Peter Richardson called 2020 a "breakout" year for 5G networks and handset sales, which made up just 2% of the third quarter market but grew 200% from the previous quarter.
"The 5G rollouts from both networks and devices over the past twelve months have been faster than the 4G era, and we expect the rollouts to further accelerate going into 2020," he said in a recent report. "This should catalyze the slowing smartphone volume demand over the past couple of years and certainly continue to boost the upward trend in the overall smartphone average-selling-Price."