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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Compal Profit Declines 59%, Cuts Laptop Forecast on Tablets

Compal Electronics Inc. (2324), the world’s second-largest maker of notebook computers, posted a 59 percent drop in quarterly profit and cut its shipment forecast as tablets such as Apple Inc.’s iPad steal sales from laptops.
“We believe cannibalization from tablets is there, and it’s really a problem for the notebook market,” President Ray Chen said at a briefing in Taipei today. Compal expects to sell 48 million laptops this year, 13 percent fewer than its earlier target, Chen said. He retained the January projection for 2011 tablet shipments of 3.8 million units.
First-quarter revenue fell after customer Acer Inc. (2353) lost market share and Hewlett-Packard Co. gave more orders to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Shipment growth will rebound this quarter as customers introduce new models, Chen said April 14.
“In the first quarter, notebook demand was weak while it’s already returning in the second quarter,” Chen said.
Net income in the first quarter fell to NT$3.5 billion ($121 million) from NT$8.5 billion a year earlier, the Taipei- based company said. The average of 11 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for profit of NT$3.2 billion.
Consolidated revenue for the three months ended March 31 dropped 25 percent from a year earlier, the company said. Shipments fell 11 percent from the preceding quarter.
Compal climbed 1.5 percent to NT$31 at the 1:30 p.m. close of trading in Taipei before the announcement. The stock has declined 20 percent this year, compared with a 0.3 percent drop in the benchmark Taiex index.

Shortages ‘Manageable’

Compal, which in January forecast 55 million notebook shipments in 2011, has seen client Acer’s sales decline amid slowing laptop demand. Acer on April 19 said PC shipments in the second quarter may fall 10 percent from the preceding period.
The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan is causing shortages of components including analog chips, power-management semiconductors, hard drives and optical disc drives which may extend into June, Chen said. Still, the shortage is “manageable,” he said.
Global shipments of low-cost netbooks will be unchanged or fall slightly this year, Chen said. Overall net profit from tablets will be “a little better” than for notebooks, he said.
Fourth-quarter profit, also reported today, was NT$4.5 billion, compared with the NT$4.13 billion average of 12 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Earnings are based on income to the parent company, Compal said.
The contract manufacturer of electronics plans to pay a dividend of NT$2.7 a share in cash for 2010, it said.

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