Sat, Aug 20, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Wistron Corp cuts shipments forecast on falling demand

BRIGHT SPOT:The contract notebook maker said it would be shipping ultrabooks to a customer by December and it also has other projects ongoing

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter, with CNA

Rising global economic uncertainties took their toll on Wistron Corp (緯創), the nation’s third-largest contract notebook maker, as it cut its forecast on shipments of LCD TVs and smartphones because of reduced demand.

Chief executive Simon Lin (林憲銘) told an investor teleconference yesterday that “uncertainties will last for a couple of quarters” and that the firm has had “mixed input from customers.”

The company revised downward shipments of LCD TVs to 8.5 million for the year, from the 10 million it forecast earlier. Shipments of handheld devices were cut to 9 million from between 10 million and 12 million.

Despite this, Wistron remains confident of achieving its full-year notebook shipments of 30 million units.

Shipments in the fourth quarter would grow from the third quarter by a “single digit” percentage, Lin said.

Wistron is shipping 1 million tablet PCs this year and the figure is expected to climb to 3 million next year, he added.

Lin said the firm would be shipping ultrabooks — an ultra-slim, powerful notebook that offers tablet-like features — to a customer by December and that Wistron has three to four other ultrabook projects ongoing.

Ultrabooks are expected to account for between 10 percent and 20 percent of Wistron’s total notebook shipments in the second half of next year, he said.

The company reported a NT$4.5 billion profit, or earnings per share of NT$2.28, for the first six months of the year, down from NT$5.6 billion, or NT$2.88 per share, in the same period last year.

Revenues were NT$296.74 billion, rising from last year’s NT$292.28 billion.

When asked by analysts his views on the impact should Hewlett-Packard Co spinoff its PC division, Lin said if it was to occur, the process would drag on for some time and outsourcing resources would still be needed for some time.

As HP is the world’s top PC vendor, local investors are concerned that its restructuring plan could deal a substantial blow to local PC makers.

Most industry analysts generally agree that the impact on the nation’s contract electronics manufacturing sector should be limited because Taiwanese companies dominate the global market.

As to the impact on individual makers, analysts said HP’s major Taiwanese suppliers — Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) and Inventec Corp (英業達) — could see a decline in sales, but not in profits because of the very low margins in contract PC manufacturing.

“That’s why Quanta and Inventec have switched their main focus to the server business in recent years,” an industry insider said.

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