PC SALES BODES WELL FOR REST OF YEAR

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PC SALES BODES WELL FOR REST OF YEAR

 user 2004-04-23 at 10:39:00 am Views: 50
  • #5337

    <DIV><SPAN class=h09><FONT color=blue size=4>PC sales bode well for rest of year</FONT></SPAN></DIV>
    <DIV><SPAN class=h09><FONT color=blue size=3></FONT></SPAN> </DIV>
    <DIV><SPAN class=h09><SPAN class=t003><FONT color=blue size=3>SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) — A strong bout of PC buying by corporations in the first quarter has analysts excited about prospects for the rest of the year</FONT></SPAN></SPAN></DIV>
    <DIV><FONT color=blue size=3></FONT> </DIV>
    <DIV><FONT color=blue size=3>The recovery is stronger than we predicted,” said Roger Kay, vice president with research firm IDC, adding that consumers also purchased above what was expected during the previous three months.</FONT></DIV>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>Computer shipments accelerated 16.5 percent to 41.2 million units in the first quarter from the same period last year, according to a report authored by Kay and colleague Loren Loverde. Dell benefited the most, IDC said, recapturing the lead it had lost to Hewlett-Packard in the fourth quarter. </FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>Comments in the past week from computer-chip manufacturers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices  also indicate a growing optimism for corporate purchases of information technology this year. </FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>Investors wil get additional data points in coming weeks when Fujitsu  and Gateway  report financial results at the end of April and Hewlett-Packard and Dell  report financial results in mid-May. </FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>The first-quarter figures will likely lead IDC to boost its full-year predictions for the PC market, Kay said, adding that strong growth should continue into 2005.</FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>Kay and Loverde expected growth of 13.5 percent and attributed the difference to corporate purchasing in the U.S. and Europe. PCs bought by corporations make up about three-fifths to two-thirds of all PC sales.</FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>Gartner, another research firm, announced first-quarter shipment growth of 13.4 percent to 45.3 million units, slightly ahead of an earlier prediction of 13.3 percent. Gartner also cited spending by corporations.</FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>Analyst David Wong with A.G. Edwards said the latest research further solidifies the view that corporations are spending money again. “We believe PC growth trends will accelerate from this point as the corporate refresh cycle picks up strength,” he wrote in a research note on Friday.</FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>IDC said Dell garnered 18.6 percent of the market with shipment growth of 28 percent to 7.7 million units. That surpassed H-P’s growth of 15.8 percent to 6.4 million units for 15.6 percent of the market. IBM, Fujitsu/Fujitsu-Siemens, and Acer rounded out the rest of the top five. </FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>While Kay noted that Dell’s market share lead on H-P is at its widest point since H-P merged with Compaq in 2002, he downplayed its importance due to inventory corrections at H-P and seasonality.</FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>”I’m not ready to declare Dell the definitive winner yet,” Kay said. “It’s wider than usual, but this doesn’t imply that Dell is pulling away.”</FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>A.G. Edward’s Wong expects Dell to gain one to two percentage points of market share per year for the “indefinite future.”</FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>As for other surprises in first-quarter numbers, Kay cited Acer’s shipments figures, which moved it past Toshiba. </FONT></P>
    <P><FONT color=blue size=3>He also noted Gateway’s market share continues to decline, but that eMachines continues to do quite well. Gateway closed its $235 million purchase of eMachines during the first quarter; IDC will combine the two companies’ shipment figures from now on.</FONT></P>