Acer's Q1 revenue hurt by Intel chip shortage

Acer's Q1 revenue hurt by Intel chip shortage

Acer's after-tax profit soared more than 400 per cent in its first fiscal quarter, but the company's revenue dipped more than 10 per cent mainly, due to a shortage of processors from Intel, the Taiwanese PC maker announced yesterday.

Acer's after-tax profit reached $US90 million, up more than 400 per cent from the $17.29 million reported a year ago. Earnings per share after tax were 29 cents, up from 6 cents a share in the same period last year, the company said in a statement.

Acer attributed the good profit news to strong returns on its investments, and to that fact that the company is no longer shouldering losses from memory chip unit TSMC-Acer Manufacturing. Acer agreed to sell its share of that company to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) in December last year.

Revenue for the first quarter was $946 million, down 10.9 per cent from the same period last year, the Taiwanese vendor said.

Acer didn't say which type of Intel processors had been in short supply during the quarter, and officials in Taiwan couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Earlier this year, Gateway 2000 and Dell Computer also complained that a shortage of Intel processors had affected their financial performance.

Intel officials acknowledged during its first-quarter earnings call last month that the chip maker was struggling to meet demand for its high-end "Coppermine" Pentium III processors.

Demand for all of Intel's products is still high, and the company remains unable to meet all of its upside orders from PC manufacturers, Intel spokesman George Alfs said. Upside orders refer to new, unanticipated orders that come in from PC makers during the course of the quarter.

The chip shortages come despite the fact that Intel is quickly ramping up its operations to its most up-to-date 0.18-micron manufacturing process, Alfs said. In its first fiscal quarter, Intel sold six times as many chips manufactured using the 0.18-micron process as the chip maker did in the immediate prior quarter, he added.

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