The nation’s leading contract notebook computer manufacturers should see shipments regain growth momentum this month, after shipments softened last month due to weak orders from some major PC vendors and the effect of the Lunar New Year holiday, Morgan Stanley said last week.
However, this quarter’s total notebook shipments from the five major original design manufacturers (ODMs) might still fare worse than expected, said the report released on Wednesday.
“Looking to March, we expect a 36 percent month-on-month rebound (down 9 percent year-on-year) for the top five ODMs’ total notebook shipments,” the Morgan Stanley technology hardware research team, led by Sharon Shih (施曉娟), said in the report.
The five companies are Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), Wistron Corp (緯創), Inventec Corp (英華達) and Pegatron Corp (和碩). As Taiwan’s notebook ODMs account for more than 90 percent of global notebook production, their shipment momentum has a high correlation with the dynamic of the global notebook market.
Global notebook shipments grew 2.1 percent year-on-year to 164.7 million units last year, beating market expectations of a 0.7 percent increase, because of solid demand in North America and economic recoveries in the region, Taipei-based research house TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report last month.
“The top five notebook ODMs’ February shipments were 5 percent below our forecast, with the downside coming from Quanta, Inventec and Pegatron, while Wistron and Compal were in line with expectations,” the Morgan Stanley analysts said.
The research team said the notebook shipments by the five makers totaled 8 million units last month, down 2 percent month-on-month and 14 percent year-on-year, likely due to soft demand for consumer notebooks at Taiwanese brand Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and US-based HP Inc.
Quanta, the world’s largest contract notebook maker, shipped 2.4 million units last month, down 14 percent both monthly and annually, and Compal, the world’s No. 2 contract laptop maker, reported shipments of 2.7 million units, up 23 percent from the previous month, but down 10 percent from a year earlier, it said.
Wistron and Inventec reported that shipments stayed flat month-on-month at 1.2 million units each, while Pegatron reported a 32 percent monthly decline to 525,000 units.
On a yearly basis, the three makers’ shipments declined from 8 percent to 25 percent, data showed.
Against this backdrop, Morgan Stanley said it has trimmed its projection for the five makers’ notebook shipments this quarter by 1 percent to 27.1 million units, which represents a 19 percent quarterly decline and an 8 percent annual fall.
However, the research team offered a preliminary projection that was positive for next quarter.
“Looking into the second quarter, we expect total notebook shipments of 29.7 million units (up 10 percent quarter-on-quarter, but down 5 percent year-on-year), reaching the high end of the historical range since 2013 with a 3 to 10 percent increase quarter-on-quarter,” the Morgan Stanley analysts said.
“Apart from Pegatron, which is affected by Asustek’s normal product cycle, we see ODMs showing 8 to 17 percent quarter-on-quarter growth in the second quarter,” they said.
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