Thu, Aug 20, 2009 - Page 11 News List

HP quarterly profit falls, still beats expectations

TURNAROUND? Because the company said it was seeing a ‘stabilizing market’ in the US and the Asia-Pacific region, analysts predicted Acer and Asustek shares could benefit

By Kevin Chen  /  AFP AND STAFF REPORTER , NEW YORK

Hewlett-Packard Co reported a 19-percent fall in quarterly net profit on Tuesday, but its results still beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts.

The Palo Alto, California-based company, the world’s largest manufacturer of personal computers, posted a net profit of US$1.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with US$2 billion a year ago.

Earnings per share of US$0.91 were better than the US$0.88 to US$0.90 per share expected by analysts.

Revenue declined by two percent to US$27.5 billion.

HP said revenue grew 8 percent in the Americas to US$12.6 billion and declined 12 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to US$9.9 billion. Revenue in the Asia-Pacific region was down 4 percent to US$5 billion.

HP said it expected revenue and earnings for the full fiscal year to be in line with the “mid-point of the outlook range” provided in May, when it said it expected earnings per share of between US$3.76 and US$3.88.

‘STABILIZING’

“Business is stabilizing, and we are confident that HP will be an early beneficiary of an economic turnaround and will continue to outperform when conditions improve,” HP chairman and chief executive Mark Hurd said.

HP’s latest quarterly numbers and its guidance for the third quarter have some implications for Taiwanese companies, Citigroup analysts said in a client note yesterday.

“As HP continues to gain market shares in the PC market, we expect Quanta to benefit most from volume growth as it is the largest supplier of HP’s notebook models in the second quarter of this year and next year,” Eve Jung (戎宜蘋) and Chen Chun-ning wrote in the note.

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) is also the world’s biggest contract notebook computer maker. HP’s Taiwanese suppliers also include Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), Wistron Corp (緯創) and Inventec Corp (英業達).

As HP said that it was seeing a “stabilizing market” in the US and the Asia-Pacific region, Citigroup analysts said it had upside potential for share prices of both Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), because the two stocks have underperformed local notebook contract makers by 38 percent and 68 percent year-to-date respectively.

‘SOLID OUTLOOK’

“On the back of market share gains in the US and China, a solid growth outlook for the second half, and rising sales contributions from new models, we expect the share prices of Acer and Asustek to catch up,” they wrote.

In Taipei trading yesterday, shares of Quanta dropped 1.17 percent to NT$59, Acer fell 0.73 percent to NT$68 and Asustek rose 1.57 percent to NT$51.8, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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