Taipei, July 8 (CNA)
Shares of Taiwan-based notebook computer manufacturer Asustek Computer Inc. came under heavy pressure Thursday morning after the company cut its forecast for notebook computer shipments in 2015 by more than 12 percent, dealers said.
The current selling showed a downbeat mood toward global demand in the personal computer market amid worries over the profitability of PC makers such as Asustek, they said.
As of 12:02 p.m., shares of Asustek had fallen 7.27 percent to NT$268.00 (US$8.65), with 3.17 million shares changing hands. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange was down 1.02 percent at 8,884.25 points.
Asustek shares moved sharply lower soon after the local bourse opened Thursday in the wake of the downgrade of its 2015 notebook computer shipment forecast. Selling suffered by the stock escalated, although the broader market recouped part of its early losses following a rebound in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets.
In a statement released a day earlier, Asustek said it had lowered its forecast for notebook shipments in 2015 to 20 million units from a previous estimate of 22.80 million units. The company said that the downgrade reflected weakening demand in the global market.
The updated 2015 prediction is even lower than 20.30 million units recorded in 2014. Last year, Asustek's notebook shipments rose 8 percent from a year earlier, making the Taiwanese firm the fourth-largest notebook vendor in the world.
Market analysts said that the previous estimate resulted from optimism toward the launch of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, which could trigger replacements, but such an upbeat forecast is unlikely to come true based on the current slow market conditions. Despite the cut in notebook shipments, Asustek has maintained its forecast of smartphone shipments ranging between 17 million units and 25 million units for 2015.
In the second quarter of this year, Asustek's smartphone shipments rose 140 percent from the first quarter in Taiwan on the back of rising popularity of its budget models.
In the April-June period, Asustek's consolidated sales totaled NT$108.40 billion, down 3.12 percent from a quarter earlier. In June alone, however, the company posted NT$41.68 billion in consolidated sales, up 23.75 percent from a month earlier. (By Lo Hsiu-wen and Frances Huang)
Taipei, July 8 (CNA)