Taiwan’s struggling smartphone maker HTC has posted a net loss of Tw$1.
88 billion ($A67.30 million) in the first quarter, a figure far worse than the Tw$1.59 billion analysts forecast.
Sales in the three months to March fell to a five-year low of Tw$33.1 billion.
HTC confirmed its unaudited first quarter loss was Tw$1.88 billion, compared with a net profit of Tw$85 million a year earlier.
Looking ahead, the company expected revenues to pick up from the second quarter due to the launch of the latest version of its flagship HTC One (M8) device and the mid-tier Desirer 816 targeting the Chinese mainland market.
“As the company expects robust demand for HTC One (M8) and Desire 816 from the second quarter, the sales would rise…and the company expects to turn profitable in the second quarter,” it said in a statement.
But analysts cautioned against optimism, saying it would be a long way for HTC to regain ground in the market dominated by rivals Samsung and Apple as well as low-cost Chinese rivals like Lenovo and Huawei.
JP Morgan analyst Alvin Kwock said that it would be difficult for HTC to rebound because it cannot match the marketing budget of firms such as Samsung.
The South Korean tech giant spent $US11.6 billion ($A12.53 billion) in marketing expenses alone in 2013, compared with around $US877 million spent by HTC on “selling and marketing” last year.
Barclays analyst Dale Gai put HTC’s global smartphone market share at an estimated 2 per cent.
The Taiwanese firm held a 4.6 per cent share of the global smartphone market in 2012, sharply down from 8.8 per cent a year earlier.
Samsung held a 30.3 per cent stake while Apple had 19.1 per cent, according to research firm IDC.