Forecast Shows PC Sales Poised for a Recovery

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

FBR Research's supply chain checks of PC builds are showing more strength than before, with both laptops and desktops improving. The forecast could mean higher earnings for Intel, HP and Dell.

With more signs of life elsewhere in the economy these days, can technology sales be far behind? A supply chain check into PC builds shows big improvement there as well, according to a brief report from FBR Research.

The company says that its recent checks into third-quarter PC builds with the top five notebook ODMs and the top four desktop motherboard makers have improved over last month's checks.

Specifically, FBR Research is now forecasting that third-quarter PC builds will grow 18 percent quarter over quarter, up from the previous forecast of 13 percent.

FBR Research expects notebook units to grow by 21 percent quarter over quarter, an improvement over July's forecast of 15 percent. Desktop builds are predicted to grow 13 percent quarter over quarter, better than last month's forecast of 11 percent.

"The positive revision to 3Q notebook builds is due to continued demand momentum for consumer ultralow-voltage models, new netbook launches from Hewlett Packard in particular, and some slight stimulative impacts from the upcoming launch of Windows 7 in early 4Q09," the company says in its report. "We hear some component shortages still exist for hard disk drives, LCD panels, LED backlights and LCD casings, an issue that could push some September production into 4Q, along with Typhoon impacts, too."

FBR Research notes that the upward revisions may push Intel's revenues to the high end of its revenue guidance. The forecast could potentially mean good news for PC makers' earnings, too. HP and Dell are scheduled to announce earnings in August. FBR Research says HP is more likely to see the positive effects of the upward revisions to its forecast.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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