Tue, May 01, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Asustek Computer beats forecasts for Q1 profits, margins

LEADING THE PACK:The company is looking to maintain shipment growth by launching a number of new products, including tablets and Ultrabooks

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the world’s No. 5 PC vendor and No. 1 motherboard maker, yesterday reported better-than-expected profits and margins for the first quarter of the year, while predicting it would eventually surpass its rivals in the Android and Windows 8 tablets business.

Net income rose 2.56 percent quarter-on-quarter, or 46 percent year-on-year, to NT$5.01 billion (US$171.2 million) in the first quarter, according to the company’s financial report which was released yesterday.

The first-quarter profit was the company’s strongest quarterly result since Asustek spun off its wholly owned manufacturing arm, Pegatron Technology Corp (和碩), in 2010, company data showed.

Earnings per share (EPS) were NT$6.65 in the first quarter, which was higher than the NT$6.48 the company posted in the previous quarter and also better than the a forecast by Nomura Securities analyst Eve Jung (戎宜蘋) in her report released last week, in which she said Asustek’s first-quarter EPS was expected to be about NT$5.8.

The profit margin was 13.9 percent for the first three months of the year, higher than the 13.6 percent recorded in the previous quarter, while operating margin was 5.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with 4.7 percent in the final quarter of last year.

In the first quarter, consolidated revenue rose 23 percent year-on-year to NT$90.91 billion, but that was still 11.43 percent down quarter-on-quarter.

Asustek chief executive officer Jerry Shen (沈振來) told an online conference yesterday that the company expected to maintain steady growth in shipments across the board this quarter, helped by launches of a number of new products, including tablets and Ultrabooks.

“Notebook shipments are expected to reach 4.4 million units in the second quarter and tablet shipments will increase to 1.2 million units this quarter,” Shen said.

In the first quarter, Asustek shipped 4.1 million notebooks, higher than its previous forecast of 3.8 million units in February, and 600,000 tablets, which was in line with its original target, company data showed.

The company also forecast shipments of 5.5 million motherboards and 1.1 million netbooks in the second quarter.

Shen said the company would focus more on Ultrabooks in the second half of the year once Microsoft Corp launches its Windows 8 operating system, with extra-light laptops expecting to account for between 10 percent and 20 percent of total notebook shipments this year.

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