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No Surprise Here: Acer Warns of Lower Q1 Revs (DELL) (HPQ)

March 25, 2011 2:11 PM EDT Send to a Friend
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In what may be a canary in a coal mine for tech companies, or maybe not, Acer cautioned that sales in the first quarter would fall short of expectations.

The Taiwan-based computer manufacturer said, with just one week to go in its quarter, that PC revs were down ten percent on a sequential basis. No specific numbers were given from Acer.

News may be bad for Acer, or just a reaffirmation of things to come for the industry, as Gartner recently reported that Acer was the second largest maker of PCs worldwide in Q4, slinging 11.853 million units, just behind 17.582 million units from Hewlett-Packard, and besting Dell's (Nasdaq: DELL) 10.801 million units. Notably, Dell and Acer were the only two manufacturers in the top five for Gartner to report a year-over-year decline in PC shipments in Q4.

One researcher from HSBC said that this is confirmation of the continued cannibalization that tablets are having on the PC market globally. Today's international debut of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad 2 tablet is just stoking the fire that's already burning. Gartner also lowered its PC shipment forecast for FY11 by five percent to 387.8 million units worldwide.

Acer's statement could be reinforced by simply looking at Hewlett-Packard's first quarter numbers and outlook. The world's number one PC maker had EPS of $1.36 on revs of $32.3 billion, mixed to the consensus. Second-quarter guidance called for EPS of $1.19 - $1.21 on sales of $31.4 - $31.6 billion, missing the Street's estimates for EPS of $1.25 and revs of $32.59 billion.

Dell and H-P shares are trading mixed today, with Dell up 0.23% and Hewlett-Packard down about 1.4%




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