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Dell Nets $561 Million In 3Q Profits

Dell Computer Corp. said Thursday that sales and profits surged in the third quarter despite the sluggish market for personal computers and other equipment.

Dell said it earned $561 million, or 21 cents per share, in the three months ended Nov. 1, compared to $429 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

That matched Dell's forecast made six weeks ago and met the expectation of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Revenue rose 22 percent to $9.14 billion from $7.47 billion in the same period last year.

The company said fourth-quarter revenue would rise about 20 percent over a year earlier, to nearly $9.7 billion, and earnings would meet analysts' forecasts of 23 cents per share.

Dell has survived and even thrived during a technology downturn and economic slump by undercutting PC rivals on price and standardizing other offerings, including servers, data storage equipment and services.

Dell has about 15 percent of the worldwide PC market. It aims to expand its presence in selling servers and other equipment to business customers, which it sees as a more rapidly growing market.

For the first nine months of its fiscal year, Dell earned $1.52 billion, or 57 cents per share, compared with $1.32 billion, or 48 cents per share, last year. Year-to-date revenues rose 11 percent to $25.67 billion from $23.11 billion.

Shares of Dell rose 89 cents to $30.94 on the Nasdaq Stock Market before the third-quarter results were issued.

Copyright © 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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