HTC shares crashed so far they had to be halted

Shares in HTC fell by a whopping 10% in Taiwan, hitting the daily trading limit.

The smartphone maker forecasted a quarterly loss around five times analysts’ estimates. Sales also came in lower than expected 48% drop in the second quarter of the year.

The market was expecting losses next quarter to be about NT$1.17 per share, which the company blew out of the water, saying losses could reach as high as NT$5.85 per share.

The stock fell to NT$63, the lowest level in at least 10 years.

Here’s what happened:

The company is caught in a squeeze. Its phones aren’t attracting customers in the high-end section of the market, dominated by Apple and Samsung, while cheaper Chinese rivals are eating away at its sales in the lower end.

Analysts at Nomura, cited in an FT report, told clients to sell shares in HTC.

“We remain cautious and believe it is challenging for second-tier smartphone brands to remain competitive and turn a profit in a slow smartphone market,” the analysts said.

HTC’s fall from grace has been phenomenal. Shares are now worth a tiny fraction of their 2011 peak above T$1200:

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