Sat, Oct 22, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Acer posts second straight quarterly net loss in Q3

SILVER LINING:On a positive note, Acer’s consolidated sales rose 14.9 percent quarter-on-quarter, although the figure was still about 30 percent lower than a year earlier

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

Acer Inc (宏碁), the world’s fourth-largest PC vendor, yesterday reported its second quarterly net loss in a row, but said its operating loss in the third quarter had greatly improved from the second quarter.

In the three months that ended on Sept. 30, the company’s net loss was NT$1.1 billion (US$36 million), or a loss of NT$0.43 per share, Acer said in an e-mailed statement.

The figure represented a significant improvement from a net loss of NT$6.79 billion, or a loss of NT$2.57 per share, in the second quarter. On an annual basis, however, that compares with a net income of NT$4.29 billion, or earnings per share of NT$1.61, in the third quarter last year, company data showed.

Over the past two quarters, Acer has been working to adjust its inventories and fine-tune its business strategy in the face of declines in netbook and notebook sales because of the impact of tablet devices, such as the iPad.

The company is also undergoing restructuring pains following the departure of a number of key executives, such as former chief executive Gianfranco Lanci, former global marketing vice president Gianpiero Morbello and the former president of its handheld intelligence group, Aymar de Lencquesaing.

On a positive note, the company’s consolidated revenue increased 14.9 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$117.3 billion in the third quarter, although the figure was still nearly 30 percent lower than a year earlier.

“Acer’s third-quarter consolidated revenue grew from the second quarter, with channel inventories significantly reduced to a reasonable level,” the statement said.

Operating loss in the third quarter also dropped 81.4 percent to NT$1.32 billion from NT$7.09 billion in the second quarter, after the company wrote off US$150 million of inventories in Europe and on its account receivables in Spain in the second quarter, as well as earmarking another US$30 million for layoff-related expenses.

“Comparing the two quarters’ operating losses on the same bases, by deducting the one-time sales allowance and senior executive severance fees that took place in the second quarter, the margin of the third-quarter operating loss has improved from the second quarter,” Acer said in the statement.

In the first three quarters of the year, Acer’s consolidated revenue totaled NT$347.2 billion, down 27.7 percent from a year ago. The company said operating losses amounted to NT$6.48 billion in the first three quarters, while net losses were NT$6.71 billion, or a loss of NT$2.55 per share.

The company did not provide a sales guidance or an earnings outlook for the current quarter.

Acer chairman and chief executive J.T. Wang (王振堂), who said in August that the company might not be able to break even this year, may shed some light on the progress of the company's restructuring and any impact from potential supply-chain disruption because of the floods in Thailand on Friday next week during its quarterly conference with investors and analysts.

Acer shares fell 1.24 percent to close at NT$35.80 before the announcement of the third-quarter results. The stock has plunged 60.27 percent since the beginning of the year, compared with the benchmark index’s decline of 19.15 percent during the same period.

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