Tue, Feb 12, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Q4 earnings soar 77% at Acer, net income up 26%

OPTIMISTIC FORECAST The company said that it expects laptop shipments to grow by 32 percent this year and PC shipments to increase by 20 percent

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Acer Inc, the world's third-largest computer vendor, said yesterday that fourth-quarter earnings had jumped 77 percent on strong shipments and it expected computer shipments to grow by 30 percent to 35 percent annually.

Net income expanded to NT$2.3 billion (US$71.8 million) in the fourth quarter last year, including profits from its newly acquired US PC brand Gateway Inc, compared to NT$1.3 billion in 2006, the company said in a statement.

Shipments leapt more than 25 percent to 7.4 million units last quarter after acquiring Gateway, the fastest expansion among the world's top five PC vendors, market researcher International Data Corp's (IDC) said.

Acer's net income rose around 26 percent last year to NT$12.9 billion, or NT$5.4 per share, from NT$10.2 billion, or NT$4.5 a share, in 2006, the company said.

Revenue grew by 25 percent to NT$461.7 billion last year, Acer said.

"The results are mostly in line with the market's expectation," Vincent Chen (陳豊丰), an analyst with CLSA Ltd (里昂證券), said in a telephone call.

Acer's earnings were slightly lower than the NT$13.5 billion he had projected.

Looking ahead, Acer said it holds "an optimistic outlook for the 2008 PC industry."

It also said smooth integration with Gateway was underway and that the US brand had returned to the black in the final quarter of last year.

Notebook computer shipments may grow by 40 percent year-on-year and overall PC shipments may increase by 30 percent to 35 percent year-on-year, Acer said in the statement.

It did not provide specific shipment figures.

"The outlook is much better than the expectation of most analysts. That will be a challenge, given the uncertainty in the global economy," Chen said.

Acer's laptop computer shipments could grow by 32 percent annually this year, while PC shipments could expand by 20 percent, Chen said in a previous forecast.

Acer chairman Wang Jen-tang (王振堂) said the company aimed to ship 25 million computers this year by boosting its market share to 12 percent in the wake of its acquisition of Gateway and Packard Bell.

Acer shipped a combined 21.2 million computers last year, up 32 percent from 2006, IDC's tally showed.

Acer also grabbed a bigger market share of 9 percent last year from 7.9 percent, overtaking China's Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) as the world's No.3 PC brand, IDC's data showed.

The global PC shipments may grow by a double-digit percent this year and probably next year, though rising concerns about the macroeconomy were likely to reduce expectations further, IDC said.

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