This tiny Welsh manufacturer which is probably supplying Apple's iPhone components has seen its shares fall despite strong results

 
Lucy White
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Some of IQE's products are used for facial recognition in smartphones (Source: Getty)

A tiny Welsh company listed on London's junior market is set to smash trading expectations, as it said in an update this morning that revenues would be no less than £150m for 2017.

But shares had contrarily dipped at the time of writing, by more than eight per cent, despite the strong results and analyst upgrades.

Oliver Knott, an analyst at N+1 Singer, suggested this may be a consequence of investors cashing in pre-Christmas after a year which has seen IQE's share price rise more than 300 per cent. Equally, they may have been disappointed that they had not seen further upgrades from brokers.

Read more: IQE share price slips as profit dips, but analysts are still confident on suggestions it's supplying Apple's iPhone 8

IQE, which makes semiconductor "wafers" for use in smartphone chips, has experienced a take-off in sales as it has developed relationships with Apple and a number of other smartphone manufacturers (though these companies have never been named by IQE).

It burst into the public eye earlier this year as its share price rocketed, on rumours it would be making components for Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

The business especially noted the performance of its photonics business today, and the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology which is used in smartphones for features such as facial identification.

"I'm very pleased to confirm that IQE is on track to achieve record financial results in 2017," said Drew Nelson, the firm's chief executive.

"The adoption of VCSELs in the mass market has been a key revenue driver in the year. IQE has built a strong and sustainable lead in this complex materials technology."

Read more: Apple's iPhone X demand is sending share prices of IQE, Dialog Semiconductor, Foxconn and more suppliers soaring

The photonics business has in fact doubled its revenues over the year, with IQE adding that it owns intellectual property in the area and has several "multi-year supply contracts".

Meanwhile the infra-red branch, which has traditionally focused on "see in the dark" technology but is increasingly working to develop products for the mass market, saw a steady growth of around 10 per cent.

IQE also noted that the US President Trump's tax changes, if enacted, would "have a positive long term financial benefit" for the company which has operations in the US.

Read more: Philip Hammond joins European finance ministers to call for a rethink of Trump's proposed US tax reform

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