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Report: LG handset recovery in question

Report: LG handset recovery in question
News from Mobile Business Briefing:

An analyst firm questioned the sales performance of LG Electronics due to doubts over the performance of its handset unit, shortly after the company saw its mobile business return to the black on the back of smartphone growth, Bloomberg reported.

According to an analyst with Mirae Asset Securities, the handset maker is counting on LTE devices to power its growth, with several devices supporting this technology announced at the GSMA Mobile World Congress last month. However, Lee Soon Hak said that “market expectations of the company’s LTE phone sales need to be lowered,” citing weak demand in North America.

While LG lost its number three position in the handset market to Apple, with aggressive Chinese vendor ZTE close behind, the company’s mobile unit recently moved into profit after a prolonged period of losses.  At this time it cited “strong premium smartphone sales from the Optimus LTE and solid sales growth from existing smartphone models.”

The company has said that its emphasis moving forward is on smartphones, “especially on LTE.”

…………… continues on Mobile Business Briefing
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LG Drops as Analyst Says Phone Sales May Miss Estimates
News from BusinessWeek:

LG Electronics Inc. (066570), overtaken by Apple Inc. as the world’s third-biggest handset maker, fell the most in a month in Seoul trading after Mirae Asset Securities Co. said the company’s phone sales may miss estimates.

LG dropped as much as 4 percent, the biggest intraday decline since Feb. 23. It traded 2.2 percent lower at 88,000 won as of 2:18 p.m., while South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index gained 0.1 percent.

The handset maker is counting on devices running on faster networks using long-term evolution, or LTE, technology to revive phone sales. Demand for LTE devices in North America, the biggest market, isn’t rising as fast as expected and may not pick up until the second half of this year because of limited coverage, said Lee Soon Hak, a Mirae analyst in Seoul.

“Market expectations of the company’s LTE-phone sales need to be lowered,” Lee, who kept his rating on the stock at hold, wrote in a report distributed after the close of trading yesterday. The analyst didn’t provide figures.

LG’s handset shipments dropped 25 percent to 88.1 million units in 2011, lagging behind the 93.2 million for Apple, according to IDC Corp., a Framingham, Massachusetts-based research company. Nokia Oyj shipped the largest number of phones, followed by Samsung Electronics Co., the IDC data show.

The LTE market may get a boost from…………… continues on BusinessWeek

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