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MSI Profit Up 22%, Gaming Notebooks Soar

Taiwanese PC manufacturer, MSI, has post a notable 22.4% YoY lift in 2018 profit to US$195.7 million, buoyed by gaming notebook and monitor demand. Revenue climbed 11.3% on-year to US$3.85 billion.

With earnings per share notching NT$7.15 (US$0.23), MSI claims strong graphics card demand from the cryptocurrency mining industry further lift profits.

According to Taiwanese trade publication, DigiTimes, gaming notebooks, workstations and enterprise notebooks together contributed over US$973 million (NT$30 billion) of MSI’s revenue, with graphics cards notching over US$1.29 billion (NT$40 billion) and motherboards ~US$649 million (NT$20 billion).

Following a plunge in global cryptocurrency demand, MSI’s graphics card business has plummeted from contributing ~40% of revenue to now ~20%.

MSI’s gaming notebook business, however, is expected to remain a revenue growth driver in 2019.

Despite an overall full-year gain, Q4Y18 net profit dived a whopping 47.56% on-year to US$22 million (NT$679 million). Results stem from price cutting to clear out graphics card inventory.

MSI Founder, Joseph Hsu, admits Q1Y19 overall gross margin is weaker than expected, citing strained US-China trade tensions.

He forecasts gross margin for Q2Y19 to rise back ~15%, following new product launches.

Hsu asserts MSI has felt limited impact from Intel’s CPU shortages, citing a focus on gaming devices. The company is also planning to release AMD-based gaming models, pending market demand.

The news comes after MSI Founders passed on management to a new team of professionals in January 2019, lead by President and CEO, Sheng-cheng Chiang.

“Our chairman Joseph Hsu and vice chairman Jeans Huang have fully delegated the decision-making authority to the new management team to keep the company in good shape and maintain its flexibility,” Chiang informed DigiTimes.

“MSI’s new management team is formed mostly by managers that have been working in the company for many years and have good experience coordinating with each other.”

Chiang affirms despite a slowdown in the global PC monitor market, gaming models continue to accelerate – boasting three times the profit margin of traditional models.

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