HTC is now officially worthless

Investors in HTC decided that the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s brand was effectively worthless in Monday trading in Taipei.

The company’s stock fell as low as NT$56.80 before closing at NT $US57.50 in Taipei on Monday, Bloomberg reports. Its market value actually fell to below the NT$47.2 billion ($US1.5 billion) it had in cash at the end of June, meaning that investors saw no value in the HTC brand, or the factories or other assets it possesses.

That makes HTC a very cheap acquisition target. HTC was once the best-selling smartphone brand in the US.

Were it to boost sales, the company might be able to regain some ground. But its forecast for third-quarter sales is as much as 48% below analyst estimates, Bloomberg reports, which means this isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. Sales have fallen by more than 75% since 2011, when the company had a market capitalisation of NT $US900 billion.

Since then, HTC has struggled in the face of stiff competition from Samsung, as well Chinese brands like Huawei, which are selling a lot of mid-range phones. There are simply too many Android brands on the market right now, and some, like LG, are only making 1.2 cents in profit per handset sold.

The company plans to cut costs and focus on the high-end market to boost profits, Bloomberg reports, but analysts don’t see these changes turning the company’s fortunes around in the next two years.

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