Barclays Capital upbeat about Asian PC brands


TAIPEI — Barclays Capital yesterday raised its first-quarter forecast for revenue growth and earnings per share for two Taiwanese PC vendors, Asustek Computer Inc. and Acer Inc., but said Lenovo Group of China remained the top investors’ choice among Asian PC companies.

The UK-based investment bank raised its forecast for Asustek’s first-quarter earnings per share (EPS) by 5 percent to NT$5.16, and for Acer by 46 percent to NT$0.2. Barclays Capital also raised its target price for Lenovo to HK$5 from HK$7.5, according to a research note.

“We expect Lenovo to again beat our sales and EPS forecasts in the first quarter of 2012, given its significant market share gains and better hard disk drive pricing,” Kirk Yang, an analyst at Barclays Capital in Hong Kong, wrote in the note.

Lenovo posted 44 percent year-on-year shipment growth in the first quarter of 2012, becoming the fastest-growing PC brand among the top five global players, which have market growth of only 2.3 percent, according to research firm International Data Corp. (IDC). In the second quarter of this year, Lenovo’s revenue momentum will continue to be pushed by stronger operations in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region and by new product lines, such as smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, Yang said.