Worst third quarter 'in the history of PCs' on its way -- analyst

As tech stocks continue their months-long ascent, a Citigroup analyst says the headlines disguise a grimmer reality, at least for makers of the venerable personal computer.

Forget, for a moment, that shares of tech stalwarts Apple and Google are trading as if investors are out of their minds. They may well be, but that doesn't mean the giddiness ought to extent to the rest of the tech world.

In fact, Citigroup semiconductor analyst Glen Yeung offered an outright buzz kill of a prediction about the third quarter in an interview broadcast on CNBC on Friday.

"We were looking into the supply chain over the course of August, and really everywhere you looked, PC data points are bad. What we're ultimately going to end up with is the worst third quarter in the history of PCs this quarter, so obviously the outlook is pretty dire," he said.

"Normally, when we see an upgrade cycle in an cycle, it does stimulate PC demand," he said. "I would point out that this is the first time ever that Microsoft has changed operating systems, and it's not just PCs. This time, there's a tablet involved, there's a smartphone involved."

Yeung's gloomy gus cameo came as Intel lowed its third quarter sales outlook "as a result of weaker than expected demand in a challenging macroeconomic environment. Another element to factor into the equation: What with Windows 8 systems expected to arrive en masse during the fourth quarter, it's likely that many would-be computer customers held off on buying PCs in anticipation of the newer product releases.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq continues to trade near its 52-week high. Party on, Garth.

 

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