UPDATE: VIZIO Upbeat On Growth, Weighs Listing Within 5 Years

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jessi Ho
December 18, 2009

TAIPEI (Dow Jones)--Vizio Inc., a maker of low-cost flat-panel televisions in the U.S., expects shipments and revenue to increase next year in a sign demand in the consumer electronics space is picking up after a downturn.

Chief Executive William Wang of the California-based company told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview Friday the company also aims for an initial public offering within five years.

"As we seek to continue to grow, we certainly need to raise more funds," said the 46-year old executive, who founded Vizio in 2002 with just US$600,000 and raised its capital to US$2.6 million by 2004.

He declined to disclose Vizio's current capital size.

In Vizio's home market in the U.S. where job losses have shown signs of stabilization, Wang said he hopes consumers will accelerate the replacement of existing televisions in 2010.

Wang said Vizio is targeting South America as its future growth market, while it is still evaluating whether to enter the Chinese market.

China is packed with big international players and small local players, therefore price competition there may be more intensive, said Wang. A lack of major and extensive distribution channels such as discount retailers also make it a difficult market to penetrate.

Next year, Vizio expects to ship more than 8 million flat-screen televisions, compared with 6 million estimated for this year.

Vizio's revenue will likely increase to US$2.8 billion in 2010 from US$2.5 billion estimated for 2009, he said.

For the first three quarters of 2009, Vizio was the largest flat-screen brand in the U.S. by shipments, although Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. took the top spot from Vizio in the third quarter.

But he acknowledged that pricing pressures remain--Vizio's average selling TV prices are likely to fall around 20% in 2010, compared to about 40% estimated for this year, said the executive.

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