© Reuters. Apple supplier AMS sees weak first quarter, skips dividend

VIENNA (Reuters) – Sensor specialist AMS expects revenue in the first quarter of 2019 to fall to $350-390 million amid continued weak smartphone demand and “characteristic first-quarter consumer market seasonality”, it said on Tuesday.

The Austrian group said it would not pay a dividend for 2018 after its adjusted operating profit fell more than half in the fourth quarter, pulled down by slowing demand from a major customer and restructuring costs.

It generated adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $61.9 million and revenue of $491 million in the three month through December, the Swiss-listed group which supplies Apple (NASDAQ:) with sensors for face-recognition technology said.

“Reflecting a more volatile end market and macro-economic environment, AMS has decided to suspend its cash dividend policy for fiscal year 2018 to focus on strengthening its business position in 2019,” it said.

AMS had lowered its guidance in November and said it expected an adjusted operating margin for the quarter in the low to mid-teen percentage range on revenue between $480 million and $520 million.

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2019-02-04