Sun, Jan 11, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Acer shares climb from four-year low in trading

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Acer Inc (宏碁), the world’s third-biggest maker of personal computers, climbed from a four-year low in Taipei trading after saying its operating margin may have risen in the final three months of last year.

Acer gained 2.50 percent to NT$40.70 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, rising from its lowest since September 2004 as the benchmark TAIEX index dropped 0.78 percent.

The company may have benefited from its July introduction of the Aspire One computer, an ultra-compact model that retails for about US$400.

Global shipments of so-called “netbooks” will probably increase by 11.3 percent this year to about 138 million units from 124 million last year, Taipei-based researcher Market Intelligence Center (市場情報中心) under the Institute for Information Industry (資策會) said.

“This highlights Acer’s success in capturing consumer needs by offering low-cost laptop computers in the second half when the global economy took a drastic turn in direction,” said Eric Yao (姚宗宏), who owns Acer shares in the US$152 million funds he helps manage at Truswell Securities Investment Trust Co (富鼎投信).

Fourth-quarter operating margin may have bettered or equaled its 2.9 percent third-quarter result, Taipei-based Acer said in a statement after the market closed on Friday.

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), the world’s second-largest maker of notebook computers, has cut this year’s notebook computer shipments target to 32 million from 35 million units because of the worsening financial crisis, Compal vice-president Gary Lu (呂清雄) told the Dow Jones Newswires yesterday.

Compal shipped 25.6 million notebook computers last year, lower than its previous expectation of 27 million units, Lu said.

The company posted a 3 percent decline year-on-year in last year’s consolidated revenue to NT$427.68 billion, a company statement showed Saturday.

Shares of Compal were unchanged at NT$16.15.

Separately, Dell Inc, trying to revive sales and lure buyers back from Hewlett-Packard Co, introduced a “luxury” laptop called the Adamo and a portable computer called the Mini 10 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The Adamo, which has a glass screen, will go on sale in the first half of the year, Dell vice president Michael Tatelman said on Friday. He declined to give additional details about the laptop, including its weight.

Sales of notebook PCs outstripped orders for desktops for the first time in the third quarter of last year, researcher iSuppli Corp said last month.

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