Sat, Jun 04, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Shares of Microsoft’s partners advance

WINDOWS EFFECT:Investors in Taiwan hope the launch of Windows 8 will help lead the challenge against the iPad and boost the profitability of Microsoft’s local partners

Staff Writer, with CNA

A model poses at the release of Microsoft Taiwan’s all-traditional Chinese Office Mac 2011 that was designed with Taiwanese users in mind.

Photo: Chen Ping-hung, Taipei Times

With the launch of the Windows 8 operating system by Microsoft Corp, shares of the US company’s Taiwanese partners, including PC vendor Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) and contract notebook computer maker Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), scored significant share gains yesterday, dealers said.

Shares of Asustek gained 2.39 percent to close at NT$300 and Quanta rose 5.57 percent to end at NT$68.20, while the benchmark TAIEX was up 0.61 percent at 9,046.28 points, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Microsoft debuted Windows 8 on Thursday at Computex Taipei, the world’s second-largest computer fair. The company’s vice president, Mike Angiulo, displayed the operating system on tablet, notebook and desktop computers made by manufacturers such as Asustek, Quanta, Dell Inc, Samsung Electronics Co and Hewlett-Packard Co.

Investors in Taiwan have high hopes that the new Microsoft operating system will help challenge Apple’s iPads in the global market and will boost the profitability of Microsoft’s local partners, dealers said.

“The Windows 8 operating system integrates the functions of tablet and notebook computers. Many investors are hoping this integration will be well received by consumers and will put the product in fierce competition with iPads,” MasterLink Securities (元富證券) analyst Tom Tang said.

“The current buying in Asustek and Quanta clearly shows optimism, in particular after Microsoft chose to preview the new product at Computex,” Tang said.

Tang said the gains appeared particularly significant in light of Thursday’s sell-off in the local bellwether electronics sector after a plunge on Wall Street. Foreign institutional investors were probably short-covering the stocks, he said.

As shares of Acer Inc (宏碁), one of the world’s leading PC vendors, were seriously hit by a massive write-off to clear inventory and disputed accounts receivable in its Europe, Middle East and -Africa -operations, funds are shifting to safe havens like Asustek and Quanta, he said.

Quanta shares were also boosted by the company’s recent disposal of its remaining 1.4 percent stake in battery maker Simplo Technology Co (新普科技), which will enable the company to book NT$682 million in gains, dealers said.

For Quanta, Tang said, some foreign institutional investors have issued a target price of as much as NT$80 on an optimistic earnings outlook. They are also upbeat about the company’s efforts to develop cloud computing technology, he said.

Goldman Sachs said in a report yesterday that it prefers Quanta over rival Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), citing the former’s continuing growth momentum driven by Apple notebook -computer orders and cloud computing products.

Acer extended its losses from the previous session, dropping 2.31 percent to NT$50.70, while Compal fell 1.01 percent to NT$34.15, the stock exchange’s data showed.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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