The pandemic-based revenue-a-thon seems to be starting to slow down, at least in the global PC market. There were predictions this would occur at the end of 2021. Now we’re seeing it play out just as the prophecy foretold. The latest company to chime in is Asus, which held a quarterly earnings call this week. On the call Asus executives predicted the company’s PC and component sales would drop significantly in the coming quarter. They also addressed crytomining’s impact on Asus’ business, revealing its importance has already been diminished.
The earnings call was transcribed by SeekingAlpha, and it was kicked off by Nick Wu, who is the Chief Financial Officer. He began with the good news first. The company’s net revenue was up 18 percent year-over-year (YoY), outpacing the market. Net profit was also up seven percent YoY. Overall, in 2021, Asus shipped 800,000 desktop and laptop PCs, representing a staggering 100 percent YoY growth. He then moved on to the future, which wasn’t quite as cheery as his previous statements. “We think we will see a downward track,” he said, referring to the second quarter. He said he expects PC shipments to decline 10 percent in the second quarter. Component shipments will also decline ten to 15 percent too, he said. With that, he handed over the reigns to the Co-CEO, Mr. S.Y. Hsu.
Mr. Hsu began his statements with a dose of reality. He acknowledged the pandemic fueled a lot of the company’s sales. However, with COVID-19 fading into the background, things would begin to return to normal. Despite a cloudy future, he noted the company experienced very strong sales in Q1. For example, he stated the company owned 55 percent of global market share for Z690 and X570 motherboards in the first quarter. For workstation motherboards, that number is 50 percent. He summarized his comments by saying PC sales increased 30 percent YoY. That includes all PCS: gaming, workstation, and personal.
He then took a question from Digitimes about what the PC market will look like in the post-pandemic. He said the addressable market for PCs and notebooks will be bigger this year than in 2019, but nothing like 2020 and 2021. He said the “new normal” will arrive soon, likely in the latter half of 2022 as inventories return to normal. Credit Suisse then asked him about the recent drop in GPU prices. Mr. Hsu explained that the pandemic drove a lot of GPU sales, but that’s beginning to change. He says Ethereum’s upcoming switch from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake will is the reason for the drop. Hsu said “What we see right now is that demand from mining is disappearing,” and that in the near future “demand for graphic cards will come back to gaming applications.”