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Compal forecasts single-digit 4th-quarter shipment growth

Compal, a major contract notebook PC manufacturer, expects to see a low single-digit shipment growth in the fourth quarter and total shipments of 40 million this year, it said yesterday.

The firm had originally predicted shipments this year would be 40.5 million, the same as last year.

The company yesterday also reported a third quarter gross profit margin of 4.3 percent, slightly below 4.6 percent in the second quarter.

“The decline in the gross profit margin resulted chiefly from a wage increase in China, which added to our costs,” said Chen Jui-tsung, Compal president, during the firm's investors' conference. “Our gross profit margin still faces pressures during this quarter, and we'll work hard to maintain our profitability.”

At yesterday's event, Compal reported third quarter sales of NT$173.033 billion, a rise of 5 percent quarter-on-quarter. Pre-tax profit was NT$2.228 billion and net profit NT$1.736 billion, translating into earnings per share of NT$0.37, slightly better than the NT$0.36 for the April-June period.

For the first three quarters, sales totaled NT$499.22 billion, a decline of 4 percent compared to the same period last year. Gross profit stood at NT$22.432 billion, a decline of 13 percent. Pre-tax profit was NT$7.389 billion and net profit NT$5.073 billion, translating into earnings per share of NT$1.16.

Separately, contract notebook PC manufacturers in general had third quarter results that were lower than market expectations.

Wistron, which had its investors' meeting Tuesday, reported a third quarter operating profit margin of 1.24 percent and an exchange rate loss of NT$168 million. Both were worse than the market had expected.

Pegatron, meanwhile, announced a third quarter unconsolidated net profit of NT$1.353 billion, or earnings per share of NT$0.6, both lower than market expectations. The firm will hold its investors' conference on Nov. 9.

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