Tue, Jan 17, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Wistron bucks market decline after bond issuance

RUMORS:Speculation has arisen that the contract notebook maker sealed a deal with Hewlett-Packard, as well as receiving new tablet orders from Asustek

Staff Writer, with CNA

Shares of Wistron Corp (緯創), one of the nation’s leading contract notebook computer makers, bucked a 1.09 percent fall by the broader market yesterday, after it launched convertible bonds at a 20 percent conversion premium last week, dealers said.

The premium showed investors have high hopes that the company would generate higher sales this year, dealers said.

There is speculation that Wistron has added Hewlett-Packard Co to its list of customers, in -addition to receiving orders to assemble tablet computers for Austek Computer Inc (華碩).

The share price of Wistron rose 0.97 percent to close at NT$41.7, with 23.89 million shares changing hands, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

“The pricing premium in the bond sale reflected investors’ faith in the company and expectations of an increase in shipments from 2011,” Horizon Securities (宏遠證券) analyst Benson Huang (黃重善) said.

CONVERSION PRICE

Over the weekend, Wistron -announced it had set a conversion price of NT$49.3 for its US$180 million three-year overseas convertible bond offering after the bonds were oversubscribed nearly two times.

The price, which represents the share price at which convertible bonds can be changed into common stock, represented a 20 percent premium over Wistron’s average closing share price in the five trading sessions prior to Thursday last week.

MATERIALS

The company said the funds raised from the issuance, which is scheduled for Thursday, would be used to purchase production material and equipment from overseas.

“The conversion price means Wistron’s share price still has room to rise because investors expect it to post higher shipments for 2012,” Huang said.

Huang said the market expects Wistron’s notebook computer shipments to increase by almost 11 percent this year from a year earlier, climbing to 35 million units because of a large customer portfolio.

WINDOWS 8

“The market is also anticipating that the planned launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system will boost demand for notebook computers in the global market,” Huang said.

He said Wistron would benefit from Austek’s tablet orders, which command higher gross margins than those of notebook computers, helping to improve the contract electronics supplier’s bottom line.

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