updated 06:30 pm EST, Thu November 17, 2005
Apple tops PC industry
Apple is still the . While Credit Suisse First Boston research analyst Robert Semple maintained a "marketweight" rating on the PC hardware sector, but maintained an 'outperform' rating on Apple, saying that Apple's product cycles make the company preferable amid a slowing growth industry. Forbes notes that October results from market researcher NPD revealed "elastic" consumer demand driven by aggressive pricing. "Within the PC market, we continue to prefer the profitable share gainers with compelling product cycles, with Apple as our top pick," said Semple. During the month, Apple saw its unit growth slow to 23 percent, but it has still delivered over 50% unit growth year to date.
The report on said that total October PC unit growth for US retail and distribution reaccelerated to 26% year-over-year and declined 18% month-over-month---both of which were ahead of recent year-over-year growth trends and normal seasonal patterns. Aggressive desktop pricing kept revenue growth flat, while unit sales increased by 9 percent. Notebooks felt less pricing pressures, with revenues up 27 percent on strong unit growth of 60 percent.
PC growth, driven by retail sales, helped push Hewlett-Packard unit sales growth to 25% year over year and maintain its share for the first time in several months. Meanwhile, "However, the big winners in the quarter were international vendors Toshiba, Sony, and Acer, each of which is benefiting from a product mix that predominantly consists of notebooks," said Semple.
Credit Suisse analyst has "outperform" ratings on Sony and Toshiba and a "neutral" rating on Hewlett-Packard.