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Acer Profit Beats Estimates, Climbs 54% on Asia Sales

Acer profit beats estimates
Acer Inc. CEO and president Gianfranco Lanci displays a prototype tablet computer at a news conference in Beijing. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Acer Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of notebook computers, posted second-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, led by demand in Asia.

Net income climbed 54 percent to NT$3.59 billion ($113 million) from NT$2.34 billion a year earlier, Taipei-based Acer said in a statement today. Profit compares with the NT$3.5 billion average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Acer, which trails only Hewlett-Packard Co. in the notebook computer market, posted shipments in Asia-Pacific that outpaced the regional average, offsetting an erosion in the value of sales caused by a weakening euro. The release of a tablet device to rival Apple Inc.’s iPad and cooperation with Founder Technology Group Corp. in China will boost revenue as sales of low-cost netbook computers slows.

“The numbers are quite good, because they managed to expand profit margins despite a weakening euro which hurt sales,” said Calvin Huang, who rates the stock “buy” at Daiwa Securities Co. in Taipei.

Operating margin, or operating profit divided by sales, was 2.75 percent for the period, Huang said, compared with 2.7 percent in the prior quarter, and 2.56 percent a year earlier.

“Acer declined lower margin orders in order to maintain our level of margin,” Acer said in a separate statement today, without elaborating. The euro depreciated 8.4 percent versus the Taiwan dollar in the second quarter.

Sales Climb

Consolidated sales climbed 26 percent to NT$150 billion, Acer said today. Operating profit climbed 36 percent to NT$4.1 billion. Non-operating profit rose from the prior quarter, Acer said without providing figures.

Acer fell 1.6 percent in Taipei trading to close at NT$87.60 before the earnings announcement. The stock has dropped 8.9 percent this year, compared with a 2.6 percent decline in the benchmark Taiex index.

Shipments in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, climbed 45 percent from a year earlier. The gain compares with the 36 percent increase estimated for the region by researcher IDC on July 20. Shipments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa climbed 20.5 percent, while the market increased 21.1 percent, IDC said.

The Europe, Middle East and Africa market accounted for 50 percent of Acer sales in the first quarter, with Asia Pacific contributing 16 percent, according to company data. Acer didn’t provide a sales breakdown for the second quarter.

The company will release a tablet computer with a 7-inch screen and using Google Inc.’s Android operating system by year end, Jim Wong, head of the Acer’s IT products division said in a June 18 interview. Apple will sell 12.9 million units of its iPad tablet computer this year, climbing to 36.5 million next year, according to estimates from researcher iSuppli Corp.

Cooperation with Founder will help boost sales in China, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang said June 18, without elaborating. Acer doesn’t plan to buy shares in Founder, he said at the time.

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