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ASUSTek Computer is the biggest winner among the Asian OEMs

While Hong Kong-based Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992) set a tough earnings pace to follow, possibly bumping veteran Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) from the first place spot in sales; ASUSTek Computer Inc. (TPE:2357) in many ways looked even more impressive, post higher growth and larger sales/earnings gains.

ASUSTek now holds an estimated 7.3 percent of the personal computer market, after a 12 percent rise in shipments.  In Q3 2012 ASUSTek shipped 5 million notebook PCs (up 14 percent) and 2.3 million tablet PCs (up 287.5 percent).  That drove its profits to increase 43 percent on a year-to-year basis to T$6.71B ($229.7M USD).  Sixteen analysts polled by FactSheet expected a mere T$5.41B ($185.2M USD).  The 24 percent earnings surprise is a testament to just how wild and unpredictably ASUSTek is growing.

Base revenue was up 9 percent to T$111.44B ($3.814B USD).  ASUSTek also earned T$1.18B ($40M USD) in currency gains.

The positive surprise by ASUSTek sharply contrasts the dreadful results of the Taiwanese OEM's rivals: Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Inc. (DELL), and Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353).  ASUSTek's Q4 2012 (holiday) outlook is also more optimistic than its foes', with notebook shipments of 5.5 million units (up 10 percent) and tablet shipments of 2.6 million units (up 14 percent) predicted.

With the death of the netbook, tablets have grown increasingly important to PC OEMs growth, and ASUSTek appears to be one of the only major players to be getting the equation right.  While its Android tablets have shown promising sales, ASUSTek has even higher hopes from its Windows 8 tablet lineup, which should land next month, in time for the crucial holiday season.  

ASUSTek Vivo Tab
ASUSTek is bullish on its Windows 8 lineup.

Among those will be the Windows 8 Vivo Tab RT, an LTE tablet that will be ASUSTek's first design with a carrier contract.  The Vivo Tab will be carried by the AT&T, Inc. (T) network in the U.S.

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Alberto Moel said ASUSTek is well positioned, telling The Wall Street Journal, "From the Windows 8 products we've seen, I'd say Asustek has the most competitive lineup so far.  Their Windows 8 product prices are lower than expected, so we expect them to do well."

Source: WSJ





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