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Sat, Nov 15, 2003 - Page 12 News List

Dell third-quarter profit rises 21 percent

AFP , ROUND ROCK, TEXAS

Personal computer giant Dell posted a third-quarter net profit Thursday of US$677 million, up 21 percent over the US$561 million it earned in the year-ago period.

The PC leader met earnings forecasts and topped revenue estimates of Wall Street analysts.

Dell earned US$0.26 a share, in line with estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

The company had been due to release results after the close of Wall Street, but mistakenly published them about an hour early.

Sales of US$10.6 billion -- a 16 percent rise -- topped consensus revenue forecasts of US$10.53 billion.

"Customers and investors get best value over time from companies like Dell that are growing and financially very healthy," said Michael Dell, the company founder as well as chairman of the board and chief executive.

"The market should insist on both, and it's a credit to our teams and a better way of doing business that we're consistently meeting those expectations," he said.

Dell said the company anticipates its fourth-quarter shipments will be up more than 25 percent year-on-year, and again outpace the rest of the industry. Dell expects revenue of US$11.5 billion, an increase of 18 percent, and earnings per share of US$0.28, up 22 percent.

Dell shares edged lower in the normal Wall Street session, then lost 0.65 percent to US$35.41 in after-hours trade.

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