Acer forecasts revenue growth to resume in Q1


TAIPEI — Taiwanese computer maker Acer Inc. will resume revenue growth from the bottom in the first quarter of this year after completing a reconstruction of its management team, Barclays Capital said Sunday. The investment bank said that Acer has completed its senior management reshuffle that started in March 2011 with the appointment of Eva Ho, who will serve as the new chief financial officer and spokesperson taking effect March 1.

Lilia Wang, Acer’s acting CFO, will retain her position as global controller and acting CFO for the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.

“We are positive on the CFO appointment as it marks the end of Acer’s senior management restructuring,” said Kirk Yang, head of Asia ex-Japan tech hardware research based at Barclays Bank, Hong Kong, in a research note.

“We believe the finalization and stabilization of senior management could put Acer back on a growth trajectory again with initial results already showing quarter-on-quarter profitability improvements since the third quarter of 2011,” Yang said.

Yang added that Acer’s global PC market share also improved in the fourth quarter of last year. According to market research firm International Data Corp., Acer’s market share rose to 10.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 from 10 percent in the third quarter, ending four quarterly declines since the fourth quarter of 2010. With a stabilized management team, low channel inventory of four to six weeks and an impressive product line-up that includes Ultrabook lightweight laptops, Barclays Capital believes that the first quarter of 2012 should mark the bottom of the year for Acer.

It expects Acer’s profitability to improve quarter by quarter throughout 2012 after a 10 to 15 percent quarter-on quarter revenue decline in the first quarter, which will still be better than the industry’s 15-20 percent decline.

The bank maintained its “Overweight” rating and target price of NT$45 for Acer.

Shares of Acer closed lower 1.88 percent at NT$36.6 yesterday.