Acer Inc <2353.TW>, the world's third-largest computer maker, gave an upbeat outlook for the current quarter, pinning its hopes on the launch of a number of new products.
Acer's Chairman J.T. Wang said the company expects its PC shipments to grow 25-30 percent in the current quarter from a year ago, fueled by a 35-40 percent rise in portable PCs, even as desktop sales fall.
The strong growth comes as portable PCs are forecast to surpass desktops in terms of unit sales for the first time this year, according to IDC. [ID:nTP107611]
It's a challenging target, but we think we can achieve that by introducing Aspire timeline, new series of products, and also the new market brand products, doing the right thing in marketing, Wang told reporters. We have a great opportunity to gain significant market share.
Acer is faring relatively well compared to its peers Hewlett Packard
Wang made his comments, the first on Acer's outlook for the quarter, at an event in Beijing to announce the roll out of 20-30 products this quarter.
Some analysts were however skeptical of Acer's move to boost the number of new models in an environment where consumers are cutting back spending on technology products.
I'm a bit more conservative on this, said Daniel Chang, an analyst at Macquarie Securities. The overall atmosphere isn't looking too good, but Acer's still pushing out so many new models, so let's see how things go from the third quarter on.
Acer, which saw its market share grow by 3 percentage points last year, helped by its low-cost netbook PCs mainly meant for Internet use, also forecast the global netbook sector would grow by 100 percent or more this year.
Wang's forecast for growth in the netbook market was roughly in line with forecasts by research firm IDC, which expects netbooks to grow 90 percent this year, compared with a 4.3 percent dip in overall PC shipments.
Wang expects Acer to maintain its 2-3 percent net profit margin this year.
Acer unveiled its first PC using Intel's
Acer also showcased a desktop PC equipped with touchscreen capability, and an 11.6-inch netbook PC, the largest netbook sold by a major PC vendor so far.
Wang said his company, which entered the booming smartphone business earlier this year, is in discussions with telecom operators in China, and could begin selling its feature-jammed mobile phones there by the end of this year.
Acer previously said it aimed to get 10 percent of its revenue from smartphones within three years.
Many PC brands have started pushing their own line of smartphones recently, but analysts have said they are likely to falter in their plans to capture market share from stalwarts such as Nokia
Investors have been bullish on Acer. The company's shares are jumped almost 30 percent this year, outpacing the 19.5 percent rise in the broader TAIEX <.TWII> share index. The stock edged up 0.4 percent on Wednesday while the TAIEX fell 2.4 percent.
IDC says Acer shipped over 32 million PC units last year, lagging global leader Hewlett-Packard and Dell, but ahead of Lenovo <0992.HK> and Toshiba <6104.T>.
(Additional reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Anshuman Daga)