There have been better times to be a PC OEM. The apparently forced resignation of former Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci, for failing to adapt sufficiently to the mobile device seismic shift currently underway in the tech industry, seemed symptomatic of the dilemma faced by the traditional PC industry.
People can now perform a lot of their computing needs on devices other than PCs and those devices - smartphones and tablets - are selling in huge volumes. At the same time PC sales have been below expectations since the second half of this year, and this is having a profound effect on the bottom lines of companies heavily exposed to the mainstream consumer notebook market.
This can't be a coincidence, and nor is the fact that the biggest losers among our shares last week all have heavy exposure to the PC sector. We only use US-listed stocks to avoid currency issues, but Acer's shares fell by over 20 percent last week.
We feel that HP and Dell have experienced a knock-on effect to their share prices, as have AMD, Intel and NVIDIA, who derive much of their sales from the PC market. Interestingly Apple also had a rare down week, while Microsoft was less affected than the PC hardware companies.
At time of writing AMD's shares seemed unaffected by the change in its business relationship with GlobalFoundries.
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