January 29, 2018 / 7:50 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Apple component supplier AMS doubles 2017 revenue, raises growth forecasts

(Adds details, share price)

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Austria-based electronic chip maker AMS AG said on Monday its revenue for 2017 nearly doubled to a record 1.06 billion euros ($1.32 billion) as it raised its sales forecast, driven by demand for its sensors from smartphone customers such as Apple.

Shares are indicated to rise 18 percent at the market open, having more than tripled in value last year as the launch of the tenth anniversary iPhone in September lifted expectations for demand.

The Swiss-listed company, which supplies optical sensors that help adjust the brightness and colours on phone screens, raised its compound annual revenue growth rate expectations for 2016-2019 to 60 percent from 40 percent.

The steep increase will likely allay concerns raised by analysts that weak iPhone X orders are likely to persist through the first half of this year.

AMS's devices can help with features like facial recognition, while it is also working on environmental sensors which can detect gas particles or pollution levels, as well as health monitors which can be installed on mobile phones.

The new growth forecast would mean 2019 revenues are expected to be more than 2.2 billion euros, easily above analysts' average expectations of 1.8 billion euros.

The upbeat results and raised forecast come a week after J.P. Morgan analyst Sandeep Deshpande cut his recommendation on the stock to "neutral" from "overweight", citing risks to weaker near-term earnings.

$1 = 0.8057 euros Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan with additional reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdynia; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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