HTC misses Q4 guidance, promises growth in 2009

HTC has posted fourth quarter revenue of $1.4 billion, up 25.1% sequentially and up 21.4% over the year-ago quarter, but below the company's guidance of $1.42 billion.

The Taiwanese handset maker said its annual net profit fell 1% to $293.1 million, but that annual revenue rose 28.7% to $4.5 billion.

HTC said handset shipments in the first quarter will be affected by weak global economic conditions, with revenues pegged to come in at $979.5 million, which would mean a low-single digit annual growth.

The company said it expected gross margins to be maintained at 30% in the first quarter.

HTC said even though first quarter growth might be weak, it is expected to make larger gains in the second quarter when new products reached the market.

HTC is expected to launch several new products, including new Android-based phones, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. "We have several new products to introduce in Barcelona," said Cheng Hui-ming, chief financial officer of the company, during a conference call. He declined to comment on the Android rumors.

The company continues to make inroads in North America, and recently said it would launch its S743 smartphone specifically for the US market.