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Acer conservative about last quarter of '12

Taiwan-based global PC brand Acer Inc. yesterday expressed a conservative outlook for the fourth quarter, with Microsoft's launch of a new tablet device potentially intensifying competition in the PC market.

For the current quarter, shipments may either decline or grow by five percent, said J. T. Wang, Acer chairman, during the firm's investors' conference yesterday.

“Microsoft has launched its Surface tablet PC, which will compete head-on with its own hardware partners. This is something that has never happened in the PC industry over the past 20 years,” Wang said.

In the past, Microsoft worked with PC manufacturers, whose products carried the Windows operating system.

“Due to a changing PC landscape, we are conservative about our performance in the fourth quarter,” he added.

At the event, Acer reported a consolidated revenue of NT$104.4 billion in the third quarter, a decline of 6 percent quarter-on-quarter and 11 percent year-on-year. Gross and operating profits for the previous quarter were NT$10.751 billion and NT$345 million, respectively.

Net profit for the July-September period was NT$68 million, a rise of 21 percent from the second quarter. The figure translated into earnings per share of NT$0.03.

Acer's lower-than-expected results have sharply reduced its stock price. Yesterday the firm closed down 4.72 percent to NT$24.2.

At a forum yesterday, Acer founder Stan Shih offered an apology for this fall to the firm's long-term investors.

“For those who buy stocks just for short-term gains, I pretty much don't care about those people,” he added.

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