Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), the world’s No. 2 contract laptop computer maker, yesterday posted its weakest quarterly net profit in about eight years amid sluggish demand for notebook computers and bigger asset losses.
Net profits declined 11 percent to NT$1.55 billion (US$51 million), or NT$0.31 per share, compared with NT$1.74 billion, or NT$0.37 per share, in the third quarter of last year, according to the company’s financial statement.
The quarterly results marked the lowest level since the third quarter of 2004.
Compal blamed a higher non-operating loss for the quarterly decline in net income, according to a company statement.
Non-operating losses expanded to NT$378 million last quarter from NT$19 million in the third quarter last year, the statement showed.
Gross margin shrank to 4 percent last quarter, from 4.3 percent in the previous quarter and 4.6 percent in the same period last year.
Global notebook computer shipments grew 2.7 percent quarter-on-quarter to 48.52 million units in the final quarter of last year, according to research house Digitimes. On annual basis, that represented a decline of 3.75 percent.
For the whole year of last year, net profits plummeted 42 percent to NT$7.26 billion, or NT$1.47 per share, compared with NT$11.02 billion, or NT$2.53 a share, in 2011.
The figure exceeded SinoPac Securities Co (永豐金證券) analyst Mark Chen’s (陳彥廷) forecast of NT$6.74 billion.
Chen forecast Compal’s laptop computer shipments to drop by 5 percent or 6 percent sequentially in the first quarter, he wrote in a report released last week.
For the whole year, he expected Compal would ship 45 million units of laptops, up 18 percent from his estimate of 38 million units last year. Chen gave a “neutral” rating on Compal.
Separately, Compal said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that it requested Tatung Co (大同) to fulfill its promise to buy back the 2.8 billion shares of local flat-panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) owned by Compal for NT$7 billion plus interest.
Compal subscribed to Chunghwa Picture Tubes shares in July 2009. Tatung agreed to buy back those shares, if Compal requested it.
Compal said it has sent a complaint to the Chinese Arbitration Association to help solve the dispute.
Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world’s biggest contract notebook computer, yesterday posted NT$23.42 billion in net profits for last year.