COMPETITION FROM ASIA
Smartphone supplier’s shares crash
Shares in Apple supplier Laird dropped the most on record
London — Shares in Apple supplier Laird dropped the most on record on Wednesday after it pared its outlook, citing "brutal" price competition from Asian parts providers and sluggish demand from the smartphone industry. Laird, which also supplies parts to Samsung Electronics, tumbled as much as 50% and by 12.20pm, its shares were still down 45% at 169.9p in London. That slashed its market value by more than £400m. "The acceleration of production for mobile devices has come much later than in previous cycles and visibility on volumes remains poor," the company said. "In addition, we have experienced increased margin pressure due to unprecedented pricing pressures and some operational factors." Competitors based in Asia were driving down prices, leading to continuous rounds of negotiations with customers, CEO Tony Quinlan said on a conference call. The London-based company, which makes tiny metal parts such as battery contacts, springs and speaker covers for smartphones, predicted annu...