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Dell: Earnings to Pass Expectations

January 18, 2002

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Dell Computer Corp. said Friday that fourth-quarter sales and earnings will surpass Wall Street’s expectations due to a sharp jump in consumer business.

Dell, the world’s largest maker of personal computers, said sales to consumers in the quarter ending Feb. 1 will grow 50 percent over the previous three months.

That will push total sales, including those to business customers, to $8 billion, Dell said. Analysts had expected $7.6 billion in sales for the quarter.

The boost in sales will lead to quarterly earnings of 17 cents per share, Dell said. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call had forecast 16 cents per share.

In midday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, Dell shares were down 56 cents at $28.39.

Despite the Round Rock-based Dell is scheduled to release financial results Feb. 14.

Dell’s announcement came a day after several research firms reported personal computer sales declined industrywide in 2001.

Dell said by selling directly to customers instead of through retailers, it was able to hold down costs and increase PC sales despite the industry decline.

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On the Net:

Dell site: http://www.dell.com

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