Foxconn's quarterly profit slides 39 percent amid shipment woes


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Taiwan's Foxconn <2317.TW>, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer and a major Apple supplier , posted a 39 percent drop in third-quarter earnings due to later-than-expected product shipments.

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The iPhone X, Apple's highly anticipated smartphone product, went on sale on Nov. 3, after facing a string of production issues centered on new technologies and features on the device.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, said third-quarter earnings came in at T$21.03 billion ($698 million), compared with T$34.64 billion a year earlier, while revenue for the quarter was flat.

But this month, shoppers flooded into Apple stores across the world to buy the new iPhone X, signalling stronger demand for the 10th anniversary version of the premium smartphone than the last two iterations.

Analysts had expressed concern that supply issues might stop Apple satisfying early demand.

Apple suppliers are vulnerable to production glitches which have hit shares of companies such as Foxconn when bottlenecks emerge.

The U.S. tech giant has, however, reported better-than-expected earnings earlier this month and offered a rosy forecast for the holiday shopping season, allaying investor concerns about production delays.

Apple said it sold 46.7 million iPhones in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, above analysts' estimates of 46.4 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet. However, average selling prices of $618 fell short of forecasts of $638.

Analysts have been eager to see whether Apple can meet demand for the iPhone X during the crucial holiday quarter, with most saying it will likely take it until next year or early spring to do so.

(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Anne Marie Roanrtree and Edwina Gibbs)

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