Acer slashes forecasts citing weak PC demand

Taiwan-based PC vendor Acer Inc. on Sunday slashed its profit and revenue forecasts for the full year 2000, citing weakening global PC demand.

Acer now expects to report after-tax profit of between NT$7.9 billion (US$246 million) and NT$8.1 billion for the whole of 2000, down from a previous forecast of NT$12 billion, the Hsichih, Taiwan-based company said in a statement.

Revenue is expected to be in the NT$105 billion to NT$110 billion range, as compared to the NT$150 billion the company had projected earlier.

Acer cited slowing global PC demand and lower-than-expected shipment volumes of PCs manufactured for other vendors as reasons for the lowered expectations.

In September, Acer Group chairman and CEO Stan Shih said that the company had lost an estimated NT$20 billion in revenue due to a sudden cancellation of a major contract, in a thinly veiled reference to IBM Corp., for which Acer manufactures PCs on a contract basis. The shortfall was largely due to IBM pulling its Aptiva PCs from U.S. retail shelves.

Acer is not the first major PC vendor to blame its financial woes on weakening PC demand. Dell Computer Corp. and processor giant Intel Corp. also recently warned of weakening demand, particularly in Europe.

Acer Inc. is the core PC making company of Acer Group, which in 1999 had overall revenue of US$8.4 billion.

At the end of Monday’s trading on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Acer Inc.’s shares were selling at NT$27.10 each, down NT$0.90 on the day. Acer’s stock is down sharply from a year-to-date high of NT$80.

Acer, in Hsichih, Taiwan, can be reached at