Quanta Profit Tops Estimates as Investment, Exchange Gains Jump

Quanta Computer Inc., the world’s largest custom manufacturer of notebook computers, reported quarterly profit that beat analyst estimates after investment and foreign-exchange gains boosted profit.

First-quarter net income climbed 7.1 percent to NT$5.7 billion ($200 million) from NT$5.3 billion a year earlier, the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company said in a statement today. Profit surpassed the NT$4.6 billion average of 10 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Quanta, whose clients include Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc., posted slowing laptop sales as tablet devices cannibalize demand for notebook computers. Shipments this quarter will climb about 10 percent from the prior three-month period, Quanta said.

Share of revenue from products such as tablet computers and servers is expected to climb to 30 percent this year from 20 percent last year, Vice Chairman and President C.C. Leung said at a press conference today. Quanta began making tablets in 2010 and shipments of the devices are expected to climb this year, Leung said, without giving a figure or naming customers.

Sales fell 0.4 from a year earlier to NT$251.6 billion, the first decline in seven quarters. Shipments dropped 9 percent from the prior three-month period, the largest quarter-on-quarter decline in two years.

Investment Gains

First-quarter profit was boosted by investment gains, with non-operating income more than doubling from a year earlier to NT$3.8 billion, Quanta said. The main contributors to the jump were a foreign-exchange gain of NT$1.57 billion and a disposal of investments that earned NT$1.17 billion, the company said.

Quanta climbed 2.3 percent to NT$57.80 at the 1:30 p.m. close of trading in Taipei before the earnings announcement. The stock has declined 5.6 percent this year compared with a 0.3 percent drop in the benchmark Taiex Index.

Fourth-quarter net income, also reported today, was NT$2.3 billion. That compares with the NT$5.2 billion average of 10 analysts’ estimates. Quanta posted non-operating and foreign exchange gains during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Quanta will begin test production of notebooks in Chongqing, China this month, said Tim Li, a senior vice president.

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