Asustek reaped handsome profits in first three quarters

Nov 03, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ben, CENS
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Taipei, Nov. 3, 2003 (CENS)—Asustek Computer Inc., Taiwan's largest manufacturer of computer motherboards, registered NT$8.859 billion (US$261.36 million in US$1:NT$33.9) in after-tax earnings in the first three quarters of this year, sharply up 39% from the corresponding period of last year.

In the first three quarters, the firm recorded earnings per share (EPS) of NT$3.88, higher than expected by institutional investors.

The company boasted it would challenge shipments of 30 million motherboards for the entire year to attain a 25% share of the world market. Still, Gigabyte Technology Inc. is expected to have NT$4 (US$0.1) in EPS for the first three quarters of this year, standing firmly as Taiwan's most profitable maker of motherboards.

According to the firm's financial statements, Asustek had combined sales revenue of NT$133.1 billion (US$3.92 billion) in the first three quarters of this year, outpacing all domestic competitors. The company posted revenue of NT$62 billion (US$1.82 billion) and earnings of NT$3.203 billion (US$94.48 million) in the first three quarters of this year, up 68% and 39%, respectively, from the same period of last year. The company scored NT$1.4 (US$0.04) in EPS in the third quarter of this year, higher than expected by institutional investors.

Although Gigabyte hasn't yet announced its own financial statement, an institutional investor estimated the company will keep its gross profit rate at 17% in the third quarter of this year with EPS exceeding NT$1.6 (US$0.04). The firm would be the most profitable motherboard producer with EPS in excess of NT$4 (US$0.11) in the first three quarters of this year, followed by Asustek with NT$3.88 (US$0.11) and Gigabyte with NT$3.12 (US$0.09).

Asustek boasted it has shipped 19.6 million motherboards in the first three quarters, with its global market share rising to 25% from last year's 15%. An institutional investor estimated Asustek would be able to challenge the full-year shipment of 30 million motherboards this year. The company predicted it would ship at least 29 million motherboards this year.

After hitting a single-month record by shipping three million motherboards in September, Asustek is expected to score a new monthly high shipment of 3.3 million motherboards in October.

Not only Asustek but other motherboard manufacturers, including Gigabyte, Microstar International Corp. and Elitegroup Computer System Inc., will also report new monthly high shipments in October. It is estimated Elitegroup, Microstar and Gigabyte would ship 1.625 million, 1.475 million and 1.4 million motherboards in October, respectively.

The total shipments of domestic first-tier motherboard manufacturers are expected to grow by 11% annually in October. They will see a 15% annual growth in shipment of the products in the fourth quarter of this year.
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