Laird's dividend a casualty of iPhone price war

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A “brutal” price war with Asian rivals today forced iPhones supplier Laird to shelve its dividend and tap shareholders for £185 million.

The company, whose profit warning in October resulted in its relegation from the FTSE 250 in the latest reshuffle, said it would launch a rights issue in the first quarter of next year, which will be underwritten by JPMorgan.

The firm, which designs antennas and other specialist parts for Apple and Samsung, said it would scrap the final dividend for 2016 but insisted it would resume payouts next year.

Laird is concerned it will breach its debt covenants, with sterling’s Brexit-induced weakness adding  to its debt woes and giving it “limited headroom”.

Laird said it would talk with lenders in the hope of getting some breathing room.

October’s profit warning, blamed on a “brutal” price competition in Asia, slashed Laird’s market value almost in half. 

Today, the shares dived again, down 24.77p, or 16.4%, to 126.73p.

Chief executive Tony Quinlan, who replaced David Lockwood in August, told analysts on a conference call that Laird needs to be more efficient to ease  the crisis.

“We need to do our job an awful lot better,” he said.

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December 3, 2016 |
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