Asustek’s Q4 earnings beat forecast

By : |January 31, 2010 0

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: Netbook PC pioneer Asustek reported market-beating fourth-quarter net earnings on Monday as demand for its low-cost computers picked up, foreshadowing similarly strong results from its peers.

It made a net profit of T$5.659 billion ($176 million) in the fourth quarter of last year, it said in a statement on Monday, better than market expectations for a T$5.06 billion net profit and the T$2.798 billion in the same period a year ago.

The earnings come amid a rebound in the Taiwanese tech sector, with firms such as top contract chipmaker TSMC reporting record earnings as consumer and corporate spending recover.

But it did not give any forecasts, and analysts cautioned that there was still room for disappointment. Asustek will hold an investor conference on Friday at 0630 GMT.

"If the guidance Asustek gives is only in line with market expectations, that is going to disappoint a lot of investors and isn’t going to be exciting," said Edward Yen, an analyst with UBS.

"What I’m really looking for is guidance from them that they’re able to outpace industry growth."

The results come ahead of bigger Asian rivals such as Lenovo and Acer, which will report on Thursday and by the end of April, respectively.

Asustek reported a pre-tax profit of T$5.184 billion that was lower than its after tax profit, suggesting that some of its profit may have come from non-operating items or a tax write-back.

Asustek has several fully owned subsidiaries that manufacture electronics devices and components on behalf of other brands, including Pegatron, which it has said it will spin off by the middle of this year.

It pioneered the now wildly successful low-cost netbook PC in 2007, but has been gradually losing market share as bigger rivals such as HP and Dell enter the netbook sphere.

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