Apple ties shine for Taiwanese iPod maker

Who says name dropping can’t be lucrative? One of the main suppliers of Apple’s iPod music players sold its shares on the Taiwan Stock Market for the first time Tuesday and posted the biggest one-day rise for an initial offering in the market’s history.

Inventec Appliances Corp. stock ended the day at NT$140.5 (US$4.17) per share, up more than 30 percent from its offering price of NT$108, in large part thanks to the work it does for Apple, stock market analysts said.

The Taiwanese contract electronics maker has become famous for making iPods, despite an official policy not to talk about its customers. But at a recent press conference to talk up Tuesday’s stock market listing Inventec executives said they had been working with Apple since 1993, and hinted at recent orders from the company.

Alex Kao, a vice president at Masterlink Securities in Taipei, said the ties to Apple helped Inventec Appliances’ stock market debut overcome an otherwise hostile environment for stocks.

“I thought it could have been even better, but the overall market isn’t very good right now,” he said.

Taiwan’s main stock index has dropped 6.5 percent since the beginning of October, closing Thursday at 5721.31.

Inventec Appliances also produces its own line of mobile phones under the OKWAP brand and makes other small gadgets on behalf of clients.

The Taiwanese company’s revenue rose to NT$72.2 billion (US$2.14 billion) during the nine-month period ending Sept. 30, from NT$42.2 billion during the same period last year. Its net income for the first nine months this year was NT$2.29 billion.

The iPod is one of the hottest products Apple has put out in years. The company said it sold 6.45 million of them during its fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 24, marking the tenth consecutive quarter of sequential increases in iPod shipments. For the first three quarters of this year, Apple sold around 17.91 million iPods.

The company introduced the iPod nano in early September and said it sold 1 million in the 17 days between the device’s debut and the end of the quarter.

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