Asus represented a bright spot Tuesday for the beleaguered PC market, reporting steady growth for the third quarter, along with a jump in notebook sales.
The Taiwanese PC maker reported net income of $229.1 million, up 43 percent year-over-year. Asus also announced $3.8 billion in revenue for the three-month period, representing a 9-percent increase compared to the same period last year.
Much of this growth was driven by strong notebook sales, Asus said, with 5 million PCs shipped throughout the quarter. This growth juxtaposes the recent hit taken by competing PC makers, such as Dell and HP, which have struggled to maintain consumer interest in notebooks as adoption of tablets and smartphones continue to soar.
According to Gartner, Asus and Lenovo were the only major manufacturers that saw a rise in PC shipments during the third-quarter, with the two vendors seeing shipments jump 11.8 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively. HP, by comparison, took the biggest fall, with its shipments dropping a hefty 16.4 percent. Gartner also reported that the PC market, as a whole, saw sales drop 8.3 percent during the three-month period.
Analyst firm IHS iSuppli has projected 2012 to be the slowest year for PC sales in over a decade.
But, despite an ominous market outlook, Asus has continued to invest heavily in new notebook models. The PC maker announced a new family of Windows 8-based PCs earlier this year, including its new Taichi, a touch-enabled, convertible notebook that can used either in traditional clamshell mode or as a tablet.
Asus also reported strong growth in tablet sales, with shipments reaching 2.3 million, up a whopping 300 percent compared to the 800,000 tablets it shipped during the previous quarter. This stellar growth was attributed, in part, to Asus' manufacturing of the Nexus 7, a 7-inch tablet, co-branded with Google, which serves as one of the biggest competitors to Apple's new iPad mini.
According to a report Tuesday from the Wall Street Journal, sales of the Nexus 7 have been booming, with Asus pegging monthly shipments to be approaching the 1-million mark.
"At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500K units a month, then maybe 600, 700K. This latest month, it was close to 1 million," Asus Chief Financial Officer David Chang told the Journal.
Asus said it expects to see both notebook and tablet sales continue to grow in the fourth quarter, with each segment reaching 5.5 million and 2.6 million units, respectively.
PUBLISHED OCT. 31, 2012