Not even Robert Downey Jr. can save HTC’s finances.
The company reported its fourth quarter earnings on Sunday, and the news is roughly the same: Smartphone sales are slow, revenue is down, and for the fourth consecutive quarter, its profits missed estimates.
But at least it pulled in a profit at all.
The company said made $10 million on revenue of $1.4 billion last quarter, a big drop from the $34 million profit it reported this time last year.
And a bug chunk of that profit didn’t even come from the company’s smartphones. HTC sold off its stake in Beats Electronics last quarter, giving it roughly $85 million in profit and helping it avoid losing money for the second quarter in a row. (Last quarter, it was $101 million in the red, its first loss ever.)
Of course, it doesn’t help that HTC paid actor Robert Downey Jr. a reported $1 billion to help turn its marketing around.
All of this is especially jarring considering that HTC was just two years ago supplying one in ten smartphones. Today, the company’s smartphone market share sits at just 2.2 percent.
HTC’s slightly profitable quarter came as the company released devices like the One Max, a super-sized version of the much-lauded HTC One. The company also updated its Desire line of phones. Neither pushed the needle, sales-wise.
The real bad news for HTC, however, is that none of this will get any better. With Chinese companies like Lenovo and Huawei eating into HTC’s market share, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the company can stage a turnaround. Perhaps the company’s next flagship will offer some hope.