*NEWS*3RD Q. FINANCIAL REPORTS !
*NEWS*3RD Q. FINANCIAL REPORTS !
2003-10-24 at 10:09:00 am #7863
FINANCE MATTERS MICROSOFT CFO: PC ENVIRONMENT IMPROVING
Microsoft Corp. is now expecting personal computer unit sales for its current fiscal year to post upper Single-digit growth instead of its previous outlook for mid-single digit growth, Chief Financial Officer John Connors said on Thursday. “Our expectation is that PC demand and consumer demand is actually improving,” Connors told Reuters.
Chipmaker Intel Corp. and PC maker Dell Inc. have also given signs recently that demand for PCs, 90 percent of which run Microsoft’s Windows operating system, are recovering.
GATEWAY POSTS WIDER QUARTERLY LOSS AS SALES FALL
Gateway Inc. on Thursday posted its 11th quarterly loss in three years as the company lost money in its core personal computer business and struggled to reinvent itself as a consumer electronics store that sells a broad range of products.
The company offered a forecast for the holiday sales-driven fourth quarter that was in line with cautiously more positive Wall Street expectations. But gross margins were hammered by pricing pressure in the PC market, rising component costs, and the cost of remodeling 185 of its Gateway retail stores. Shares in the Poway, California-based company slid almost 10 percent in after-hours trade.
Six months ago, Gateway co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Ted Waitt announced the company’s plan to become what he called a “branded integrator.” Gateway has since expanded to sell digital cameras, plasma and flat-panel TVs and digital home media centers, all integrated with its PCs.
Stiff competition from far larger rival Dell Inc., and to a less extent, Hewlett-Packard Co. has hit Gateway hard. The former Wall Street darling was once, along with Dell, one of the first companies to build PCs to order. face=Arial Read More
PITNEY BOWES QUARTERLY NET FALLS, REVENUE RISES
Office document management company Pitney Bowes Inc. on Thursday said 3rd-quarter profit fell due to a restructuring charge, but revenue rose as core mail metering customers upgraded to digital.
Stamford, Connecticut-based Pitney Bowes, best known as the dominant leader on corporate mail metering, reported net income of $118.4 million, or 50 cents a share, down from $146.9 million, or 61 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding restructuring costs, profit was 62 cents a share. Revenue for the quarter grew 2 percent to $1.14 billion from $1.11 billion.
Analysts had forecast a profit of 62 cents a share on revenue of $1.14 billion.
In its largest segment, Global Mailing, the company said revenue increased three percent and operating profit increased four percent.
Looking ahead, Pitney Bowes, which hopes to grow its non- metering businesses such as printing and electronic bill payment systems, sees its fourth quarter profit on par with Wall Street views of 64 cents to 67 cents a share.
Revenue is seen growing between 2 percent and 4 percent over a year ago.
Pitney Bowes chief executive Michael Critelli told analysts on a conference call that, while the company has been successful in reducing costs, it sees the pace of new business still slowed by sluggish corporate spending.
“Large enterprises are still very cautious about major decisions, whether they be capital spending or technology-based outsourcing decisions,” he said. “I expect to see the same trend in the fourth quarter as we saw in the third.”
Pitney Bowes counts on its robust recurrent revenue stream to remain popular with investors, who see it as a safe haven during uncertain economic times. Some 75 percent of its revenue comes from repeat customers.
PRESSTEK REPORTS 3RD QUARTER
Presstek, Inc., a leading provider of direct digital imaging technology, on Thursday announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 27, 2003. face=Arial color=#0000ff Read More