Acer Inc. (2353), the world’s third-largest computer maker, more than halved its growth forecast for this year amid a weakening economy and a more cautious view toward Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s new operating system. The stock fell.
Shipments for the full year will be unchanged to 5 percent higher than last year, compared with Acer’s earlier estimate of 10 percent growth, Kevin Lu, investor relations spokesman for the Taipei-based company, said by phone today.
Acer, which posted its first loss on record last year after losing market share, is looking to Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system to spur sales of consumer PCs amid the popularity of Apple Inc.’s iPad. Distributors are now more conservative about building inventory of Windows 8 computers, while the global economy is weaker than what was expected in February when Acer provided its earlier forecast, Lu said today.
Acer dropped 2.4 percent to NT$29.10 as of 12:36 p.m. in Taipei trading, headed for the lowest close since Aug. 26, while the benchmark Taiex index lost 0.1 percent. The stock has declined 17 percent this year, lagging a 1 percent advance in the Taiex.
Economic executive and consumer sentiment within the euro area dropped to its lowest in more than 2 1/2 years in June, the European Commission reported June 28. Europe was Acer’s largest market last year, accounting for 35 percent of sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Devices using Windows 8, Microsoft’s first major computer operating system release since 2009, will go on sale at the end of October, the Redmond, Washington-based company said July 9. Windows 8 is the “most important development” in the computer industry for the next few years, Acer president Jim Wong said June 4.
Acer shipments climbed 3.6 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, its first growth in two years and helping it retake third spot from Dell Inc. (DELL), researcher Gartner Inc. said July 11. Its parent-level sales declined 2.3 percent for the first six months of this year, it reported this week.
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