AU Optronics Corp. ('AUO' or the 'Company') (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today held a meeting of the Board of Directors and Supervisors, at which the Board approved its unaudited financial results based on ROC GAAP for the nine months ended September 30, 2004. Unaudited unconsolidated net sales and net income for the nine months ended September 2004 reached of NT$125,538 million (US$3,736 million) and NT$30,189 million (US$898 million). Cumulative earnings per share for this period was NT$6.35 (US$0.19 per common share and US$1.89 per ADS)(a).
(a) All financial information was prepared by the Company in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in Taiwan ("ROC GAAP"). There are many differences between ROC GAAP and U.S. GAAP, some of which are described in the notes to the financial statements contained in the Company's annual report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on May 7, 2004. Figures in US dollars are translated at the exchange rate of NT$33.6022 per US dollar.
However, weaker-than-expected market environment and substantial price correction in large size panels during 3Q04 negatively impacted AUO's profitability. AUO believes its 2004 net profit is likely to fall short of its original whole year target by more than 20%. As a result, AUO's original FY2004 financial forecast filed in April 2004 is no longer deemed adequate, and the Company will adjust its financial forecast for fiscal year 2004 accordingly to comply with ROC government regulations.
AUO now expects that average selling prices of large-size TFT-LCD panels will continue to decline in 4Q04 relative to the price levels at the end of September 2004, though the magnitude of decline should be limited to single-digit percentage points. AUO also expects that its large panel shipment will increase by approximately 10% in 4Q04, while small- and medium-size panel shipment will experience a seasonal decline of 10-15% QoQ. AUO estimates its capacity utilization rate in 4Q04 to remain at similar levels relative to 3Q04.
Max Cheng, AUO's Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), indicates that AUO has tentatively revised its FY2004 unconsolidated revenues forecast to NT$162.4 billion. Net profit forecast has also been tentatively adjusted to NT$29.1 billion and EPS to NT$6.07. The revised financial forecast for 2004 will be announced shortly, upon approval by the Company's auditors.