Apple supplier Foxconn posts surprise 11% jump in third-quarter profit

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Hon Hai Group’s headquarters, in Taipei, Taiwan, 15 July 2021.

Ceng Shou Yi | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Apple iPhone supplier Foxconn, officially known as Hon Hai, on Tuesday reported third-quarter profit rose 11.27% from a year ago, beating analysts’ expectations despite an ongoing consumer electronics slump.

Here are Foxconn’s results for the quarter ended September versus LSEG consensus estimates:

  • Revenue: $1.543 trillion New Taiwan dollars ($47.71 billion), vs. NT$1.559 trillion expected
  • Net income: NT$43.12 billion, vs. NT$35.078 billion expected

The Taiwanese firm reported operating revenue slipped 11.64% from a year ago to NT$1.543 trillion, while net income increased 11.27% from a year ago to NT$43.13 billion, beating analysts’ expectations. Foxconn reported a NT$38.75 billion net profit in the same period a year ago.

The world’s largest contract electronics maker, Hon Hai Technology Group, assembles consumer products like Apple’s iPhones.

Data compiled by Counterpoint Research revealed that global smartphone sell-through volumes in the third quarter grew 2% quarter-on-quarter, despite falling 8% year-on-year – its lowest third quarter levels in a decade and the ninth consecutive quarter to record a decline.

A sell-through refers to when a consumer buys a good directly from a retailer.

Hon Hai won't compete with leading-edge players, says semiconductor strategy officer

“Volumes declined year-on-year largely due to slower than expected recovery in consumer demand. But the market’s quarter-on-quarter growth, especially the positive performance in September despite one full week less of sales of the new iPhones, is likely a sign of positive news ahead,” said Counterpoint Research in a report on Oct. 17. Apple’s iPhone 15 series was launched on Sept. 22.

Research firm Canalys said last week that the global smartphone market is seeing a slowdown in its decline. The market saw just a 1% drop in the third quarter 2023, according to Canalys data.

“Bolstered by regional recoveries and new product upgrade demand, the smartphone market recorded a double-digit sequential growth in third quarter, ahead of the sales seasons,” said Canalys on Oct. 17.

“Huawei and Apple’s new launches electrified the market this quarter, outshining many other vendors’ flagship series renewals,” said Amber Liu, analyst at Canalys, adding that Huawei’s latest smartphone Mate 60 Pro which was launched in September is drawing “enthusiastic” demand in Mainland China.

“Meanwhile, Apple is bolstering its new iPhone 15 series with much-enhanced performance and features to continuously stimulate demand,” said Liu.

The ongoing electronics slump has badly impacted the global smartphone market.

Demand for electronic goods such as smartphones has slowed dramatically with global macro uncertainties. Amid rising inflation rates, consumers have been cutting back on purchases of consumer devices.

Hon Hai CEO discusses sales

Foxconn said in its earnings report that it expects monetary policies, inflation, geopolitics and macroeconomics to affect its business in 2024.

In August, the government of Indian state of Karnataka said Foxconn will invest more than $600 million to build a phone production project and a separate semiconductor equipment facility.

India could account for 20% to 30% of Hon Hai’s manufacturing, which is “very similar to China,” chairman and CEO Young Liu told CNBC last month.

In October, Chinese state media Global Times reported, citing unnamed sources, that multiple offices of Hon Hai’s subsidiaries across China had been subjected to tax audits and on-site investigations into land use.

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