Acer shares boosted by sales in February


TAIPEI — Shares of Taiwan-based Acer Inc., one of the world’s leading personal computer vendors, outperformed the broader market Tuesday after the company reported a month-on-month increase in consolidated sales in February, dealers said.

The sales gains helped Acer leave behind rival Asustek Computer Inc. and other local contract notebook computer makers that all saw their February sales decline, dealers said.

The company’s optimistic projection of tablet computer shipments for 2013 on the back of strong demand for low-cost models also encouraged many investors to pick up Acer shares throughout the session, they said.

Shares of Acer rose 1.29 percent to close at NT$27.50 (US$0.93), with 28.42 million shares changing hands, while the benchmark weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 0.54 percent at 7,994.71.

Investors snapped up Acer shares soon after the Taipei market opened on the strong February sales data and the buying continued to the end of the session, dealers said.

Defying conventional wisdom that high-tech companies would report lower sales in February because of the reduced number of working days in the month, Acer said Monday that its consolidated sales for February grew 6.7 percent from January to NT$28.10 billion.

In the first two months of the year, however, Acer’s consolidated sales fell 23.8 percent from the same period a year earlier to NT$54.45 billion.

Market analysts said the month-on-month increase in Acer’s February sales largely reflected the rising popularity of its low-cost Iconia B1 model, which has been priced at under US$150 (NT$4,455).

Amid market enthusiasm, Acer said, its tablet shipments in the first quarter of this year are likely to reach as high as 65 percent of the number of tablets it shipped in all of 2012.

It estimated that tablet shipments for the full year would be 3.5-times higher than the 1.8 million units shipped last year.

In contrast with Acer’s month-on-month sales growth in February, PC vendor rival Asustek saw sales tumble 19.4 percent from January to NT$32.32 billion.

Quanta Computer Inc., the world’s largest notebook computer ODM services provider, saw its consolidated sales for February fall 19.5 percent from a month earlier to NT$56.50 billion.

Compal Electronics Inc. recorded NT$45.29 billion in consolidated sales in February, down 20.8 percent from a month earlier.