Fri, Sep 22, 2006 - Page 11 News List

ASRock prepares to list on Emerging Stock Market

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

ASRock Inc (華擎科技), a subsidiary of the world's largest motherboard maker Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), is preparing to list on the Emerging Stock Market (興櫃市場) this Monday.

The company will transfer a pool of 500 shares to brokerages including Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券), Taiwan Securities Co (台証證券) and Jih Sun Securities Co (日盛證券), according to a filing on the GRETAI Securities Market, which manages the emerging stocks.

ASRock, which has capital of NT$743 million (US$22.6 million), was founded in 2002 by parent company Asustek aimed at the low-end motherboard segment. Its major markets include China and Western Europe.

For the first half of the year, the company's sales were NT$6.1 billion and net profits were NT$574 million. Its earnings per share (EPS) was NT$9.8, according to the company's statistics.

Last year, the company's net profits grew 172 percent from a year earlier to reach N$1.6 billion. EPS last year was NT$27.5, up from NT$10.8 a year earlier.

Company president Sterling Wu (吳載燈) told the Chinese-language Apple Daily earlier this month that its motherboard shipments this year will rise to 13 million, up from last year's 11 million.

Shipments during the first six months were 5 million units.

With the average selling prices of motherboards this year projected to rise above US$40, Wu said the company expects profits to rise 10 percent over last year.

But to keep business momentum up, the company is considering ways to add value to its products, such as creating new innovative designs, to appeal to a wider clientele, said Chris Wei (魏傳虔), an analyst at the Market Intelligence Center (資訊市場情報中心).

"ASRock is currently faced with a slowdown in shipments, as the low-end motherboard segment is fiercely competitive," he said.

Though the low-end market offers limited profitability, ASRock has been able to secure a decent profit by outsourcing production and procuring parts alongside Asustek, he said.

Meanwhile, Asustek and Gigabyte Technology Co (技嘉科技) said their new joint venture, set to commence in January next year, will be named Gigabyte Union (技嘉聯合).

The companies announced the deal early last month in a move to avoid a price war and integrate resources amid a slowdown in the information technology sector.

The new venture will represent a total investment of NT$8 billion, with Gigabyte holding 51 percent share and Asustek 49 percent.

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