LG Reports First Loss in Seven QuartersBy Kathleen A. Martin | Print
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The world's second largest LCD displays manufacturer believes the demand for televisions and PC monitors will rebound in 2009.
LG Display Company (NYSE: LPL) reported Friday its most significant quarterly loss to date and the first loss in seven quarters. Executives at the second largest LCD maker cautioned that tough economic conditions may continue through the first quarter as demand remains weak.
"I personally think demand for LCD panels from the television makers will continue to increase," Kwon Young-soo, president and CEO told reporters. "TV prices have fallen way too much, so there’s a high possibility that it would rebound."
Chief financial officer James Jeong told investors, "A demand recovery seems difficult in the first quarter, but it seems the LCD market has passed the worst phase."
A factor in the reported loss was the $400 million fine for price-fixing imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice in November 2008. The company advised at that time it would report the fine as a one- time special loss in the fourth quarter. The average selling price on LG’s display panels in the fourth quarter was down approximately 23 percent from the previous quarter.
Jeong said the company aims to restore operating profit in March, but shared that there is a chance for further price declines this year compared to the close of 2008.
LG Display closed up 6 percent at $9 at the end of trading Friday.