Sunny Optical shares post biggest daily fall ever after lens maker misses profit forecasts and yuan depreciation bites

China’s biggest smartphone camera modules and lenses posts a 1.8pc profit rise, compared with the expected minimum 14.2pc

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 12:43pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 10:43pm

Shares of Sunny Optical Technology posted their biggest one-day fall on record after mainland China’s largest manufacturer of smartphone camera modules and lenses posted an interim result that missed market forecasts.

Profit increased by 20.5 million yuan (US$2.98 million) to 1.18 billion yuan for the six months ended June 30, representing a mere 1.8 per cent rise from a year ago and well below forecasts of a 14.2 per cent and 50.4 per cent range. Net profit margin decreased to about 9.9 per cent from about 11.6 per cent for the same period last year.

The drop was mainly because of decreased gross profit margins of handset camera modules as well as nearly 201 million yuan in net foreign exchange losses from the yuan’s depreciation against the US dollar for the company’s US$600 million bonds issued on January 23, chairman Ye Liaoning said in a statement filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

A 66.13 million yuan interest expense was recognised during the six-month period for the bonds, which have a 3.75 per cent coupon rate and are due in 2023. Proceeds of the bond sale were used to fund capital expenditures, and for working capital and refinancing existing indebtedness.

Sunny Optical shares slumped 24.1 per cent to HK$91.90 on Tuesday. The stock was also the biggest loser among blue chips as 67.2 million shares changed hands. The shares surged 194 per cent in 2017.

Other technology stocks fell in tandem. Internet giant Tencent Holdings dropped 3.4 per cent to HK$347.60, Kingsoft sank 18.8 per cent to HK$13.18, China Literature slid 17 per cent to HK$55.60, and AAC Technologies Holdings was down 7.2 per cent to HK$85.75.

The worst may yet be over for Sunny Optical as Morgan Stanley projected that the stock could shed 70 to 80 per cent in the next 30 days. But UBS maintains a target price of HK$150, saying investors will look to whether the company will show a clearer guidance on how to improve its second-half gross margin.

Sunny Optical said it planned to speed up research and development, and business growth of existing new products, as well as take a lead in launching mature products to gain market share.

“Although global economic growth remains uncertain, the group still holds the fundamentally

optimistic attitude towards its full-year operations as it had at the beginning of the year,” Ye said.

He said the company had been accelerating the transformation and upgrade of various businesses, and had continued to implement development strategies decided at the start of 2018.