LG struggles in Q3, pins hopes on LTE smartphones

LG, the world's third biggest mobile phone maker, reported a bigger-than-expected overall loss in the third quarter, and showed declines in its mobile phone business. But the company said it expects to improve its handset profitability in the fourth quarter thanks to expected sales of high-end smartphones, including LTE smartphones.

lg third quarter

Click here for key statistics from LG's third quarter report.

LG, which builds everything from air conditioners to mobile phones, said it lost $367 million in the third quarter, a wider loss than analysts expected, according to Bloomberg. In the company's Mobile Communications division, LG reported a 14.9 percent quarter-over-quarter decline in sales. In the company's handset division--which sits inside of LG's Mobile Communications division--LG reported a 16 percent decline in quarter-over-quarter sales.

In the third quarter LG said it shipped 21.1 million handsets--down from the 24.8 million the company shipped in the second quarter. LG blamed the decline on a slowdown of feature phone and smartphone sales.

To counter its slide, LG said it plans to focus on shipments of newer, high-end LTE smartphones. Specifically, LG CFO David Jung promised the company would release new high-end phones in the U.S. and Japanese markets in the coming months, according to the Wall Street Journal. Analysts quoted by Bloomberg noted the company's line of Optimus smartphones is close to a year old and due for a refresh.

LG is expected to ship about 23.8 million smartphones this year, up from 6.2 million in 2010, and its share of the overall handset market is forecast to fall to 6.5 percent from 8.6 percent, according to industry researcher Strategy Analytics, as reported by Bloomberg.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)

Special Report: Wireless in the third quarter of 2011

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