Sat, Sep 01, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Compal slashes notebook PC forecasts

TABLET’S IMPACT:Despite the cut in full-year shipment projections, the company remained optimistic that Windows 8 and Ultrabooks would help quarterly shipments

By George Liao  /  Staff reporter

Contract notebook computer maker Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) said yesterday it expected shipments this year to be flat or grow by a low single-digit percentage from last year because of the impact from tablets — a sharp revision from its previous forecast of 16 percent growth.

“Compal’s notebook shipments this year will follow IDC’s [market researcher International Data Corp’s] projection of flat to low-single-digit percent growth for global PCs,” Compal president and CEO Ray Chen (陳瑞聰) said at an investors’ conference. “We could not reach the goal of shipping 47 million notebooks this year as earlier forecast.”

Compal shipped 40.5 million notebooks last year.

Despite the sharp revision in full-year notebook shipments, the company still expects third-quarter shipments to rise by a high single-digit from the previous quarter and to post a big sequential growth in the fourth quarter because of the momentum from Windows 8, Chen said.

Notebook shipments, which account for more than 80 percent of the company’s total shipments, could reach 12 million units in the fourth quarter, he said.

Compal is counting on the launch of Windows 8 and lower-priced Ultrabooks to drive up its revenue, Chen said.

“With customers minimizing their Windows 7 orders, we have seen a clear transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8, so we expect an explosion of Windows 8 devices in October,” Chen said.

Compal expects shipments of Windows 8 notebooks with touch screens to account for less than 5 percent of its shipments in the fourth quarter because of their higher cost, but shipments should continue to rise next year, he said.

Ultrabook shipments for the full year would account for between 5 percent and 10 percent of the company’s total notebook shipments, he added.

Tablets and TVs form the big portion of Compal’s non-notebook production. Chen said the company had no intention of joining the race to produce low-priced Android tablets, but would rather focus on better-margin Windows 8 tablets for commercial applications.

The company yesterday also revised down its TV shipment target to 4.5 million units this year from its prior forecast of 7 million units because of stagnant demand, Chen said.

Reporting on second-quarter results, Compal said consolidated net income was NT$1.8 billion (US$60.83 million), down 17 percent from NT$2.18 billion in the preceding quarter and 43 percent from NT$3.17 billion a year ago.

Consolidated revenue was NT$164.88 billion, up 2 percent from NT$161.31 billion in the previous quarter, but down 7 percent from NT$176.37 billion a year ago.

Gross margin and operating margin were 4.6 percent and 1.6 percent respectively, about the same as the previous quarter’s 4.6 percent and 1.7 percent, but were lower than the 4.9 percent and 2.2 percent recorded a year earlier, company data showed.

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