Acer Cuts PC Shipment Forecast on Global Economy, Windows 8

Shoppers walk past a store selling Acer Inc. products in Shanghai, China. Acer Inc. is the world's third-largest maker of personal computers. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Acer Inc., 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.’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.

Windows 8

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., 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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