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Monday, April 22, 2013, 06:33 am PT (09:33 am ET)

LG Display's profits grow, but reports cite 'weakened' demand for Apple's iPhone & iPad

LG Display reported its fourth straight profitable quarter on Monday with a year over year increase, but numerous reports took a negative spin on the news because of the company's close relationship with Apple.

It's believed that Apple accounts for about 30 percent of LG Display's revenue, which is why a number of outlets on Monday chose to focus on the iPhone maker following LG's earnings report. Apple will report its own earnings on Tuesday.

iProducts


LG had an operating profit of 151 billion won in the first quarter, a major turnaround from the loss of 211 billion won the company saw a year ago. But a report from Reuters focused on LG's sequential, seasonal loss of 74 percent from the holiday quarter, and cited "weakened" demand for iPhone and iPad displays.

The report was not alone: London's Financial Times also made note of "concerns about falling sales" from Apple, while the Associated Press made claims of apparent "slackening orders" from the iPhone maker.

In contrast, the story was portrayed much differently by The Wall Street Journal, which focused on the fact that LG had "swung to a net profit in the first quarter." Reporter Min-Jeong Lee also cited "increased" sales of iPad displays to Apple.

For its part, LG said the quarter over quarter fall in profits was due to seasonally weak demand and adjusted orders made by customers.

LG also expects its panel shipments to increase between 5 percent and 10 percent in the second quarter of 2013. Market watchers view that as likely to be good news for Apple, given its large share of LG's orders.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook warned market watchers in January that they should not attempt to decipher sales of major products such as the iPhone with data from its suppliers. He noted that the supply chain is "very complex" and that Apple has "multiple sources" for various components.

"Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant for our business," he said.