Shares of the world’s third-largest PC supplier, Acer Inc (宏碁), rallied to a three-and-a-half-year high after the company said notebook computer shipments could rise by as much as 40 percent this quarter.
Acer shares rose 2.55 percent to close at NT$76.50, its highest since Jan. 5, 2006, outpacing the benchmark index, which edged up 0.29 percent. Acer president Gianfranco Lanci gave an upbeat third-quarter outlook during a teleconference with investors on Tuesday night.
Notebook shipments could grow between 35 percent and 40 percent from the previous quarter, Lanci said.
Acer’s public relations officer confirmed the forecast. The company did not provide detailed shipment figures.
Lanci said the notebooks accounted for 67 percent of the company’s product sales in the second quarter, up from 60 percent in the same period last year. He attributed the rising demand to back-to-school sales and Chinese buying of electronics as part of its economic stimulus plan.
Acer’s second-quarter desktop and notebook shipments totaled 9.2 million units, representing a year-on-year growth of 34.2 percent. This helped Acer to take the No. 3 spot worldwide, with a market share of 13.5 percent, market researcher Gartner said.
Shipments could grow another 10 percent sequentially in the final quarter, Lanci said.
Sales will be driven by the introduction of Microsoft Corp’s Windows 7 operating system and back-to-school demand, the Chinese-language Commercial Times quoted Lanci as saying at the investor conference.
Acer’s stock will continue to rise “in the runup to the Windows 7 launch on Oct. 22, underpinned by Acer’s strong execution and good track record,” wrote Henry King (金文衡) and Kevin Lu, Taipei-based analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Ltd said in a report yesterday.
The investment bank raised the company’s price target by 16 percent to NT$86 and kept the rating at “neutral.”
Morgan Stanley also raised its price target by 9.8 percent to NT$90 and maintained its “overweight” rating.
Lanci said operating profit margin could rise to 2.8 percent in the third quarter from 2.6 percent last quarter, adding that it could reach 4 percent as early as next year.
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