ARLINGTON, VA – The first quarter might not be so dire for the PC market and its suppliers, according to a report from FBR Capital Markets.

After checks into first-quarter PC builds from the top five notebook ODMs and the top four desktop motherboard producers, FBR reports builds continue to increase, compared to the firm’s last two industry checks in January and February.
FBR is now expecting desktop builds to fall only 8% quarter-over-quarter, based on its latest checks. Last month, the company predicted a 12% sequential drop and an 18% decline two months ago.
Notebook units are expected to drop 21% quarter-over-quarter, compared to a 26% decline forecasted in February and a 33% drop predicted in January.
First-quarter PC builds are expected to fall just 15% quarter-over-quarter, according to the report– an improvement over last month’s anticipated 20% decline and 27% drop two months ago.
The firm is basing its rosier outlook on several factors: OEMs and distributors are starting to reorder chips after orders stalled from November through January; March inventory has been worked down to manageable levels; and China’s stimulus packaging is creating an increase in chip demand.
Looking ahead to the second quarter, FBR expects a 10% sequential rise in notebook builds.
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