AU Optronics reports another loss

Taiwan’s AU Optronics which makes LCDs for the likes of HP, Dell and Sony posted a bigger-than-expected loss in the second quarter.

It is the seventh successive quarterly loss and this one means that it has lost $413.85 million for April-June.

Sixteen analysts in a Reuters poll had expected AU to post a net loss of a median $284 255 million, so the loss is pretty grim.

It reported a net loss of US $359,059 million in the same period a year earlier and a net loss of $458,798 million in the previous quarter.

As you would expect, the company blamed poor global economics for its woes. Its biggest customers are not doing that well in Europe because of the Euro crisis.

While that would explain the last year it does not explain why AU appears to have been suffering for much longer than that.

Some of it is due to the fact that AU has had to pay millions to settle allegations of price fixing. Growth markets like China have some real problems with local vendors giving priority to local panel makers and keeping foreigners out. All this is giving the panel industry a sense of real crisis. AU shares are the lowest they have been for ages.

At the moment AU seems to be hoping for lights at the end of the tunnel and that Europe will turn itself around. It could be a while before that happens.