Dell Computer has turned in third quarter figures slightly ahead of Wall Street expectations as a result of increased sales in all markets and all geographies.
Revenue for the quarter increased 51 per cent to $4.8 billion compared to $3.1 billion in the same quarter last year. European revenue rose 68 per cent, while the US and even Asia-Pacific grew nearly 50 per cent. Profits also jumped 65 per cent to $539 million.
"Our business continued to grow profitably in all customer segments and regions around the world, demonstrating the strength and consistency of the Dell direct model," said Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive, in a statement.
The PC supplier said it was now averaging sales of $10 million a day from the Internet, although analysts noted that less than $2 million came from consumers, with the rest generated from corporate purchasing using the Internet to fulfil orders.
With inventory was down to seven days, Kimball Brown, an analyst at Dataquest, noted: "Their results are just mechanical - efficiency like you can?t believe,".
He added that Dell?s flat margins across the business meant it was selling well at the high end against companies like Compaq, which were looking to offset low PC prices with higher margin servers.
The company?s sales of enterprise servers and workstations grew by 104 per cent year on year, boosted by its new range of fibre channel storage products. Last week, it also expanded its storage offerings by adding specialised network file storage servers, manufactured by Netappliance.
Notebook products did almost as well, with revenues growing by 93 per cent, and Dell now claims it owns nine per cent of the global market. Atlhough the firm failed to disclose PC growth rates, it said sales "remained strong".
The only potential cloud on the horizon, according to Dataquest?s Brown, is if Intel and Microsoft fail to deliver the Merced chip and Windows 2000 operating system respectively, on time for Dell?s next range of commodity PCs.
"As those kind of things happen, there is the potential for problems, but they are not a dumb company and would most likely find ways around them anyway. Their strength is that they know they are not a computer company, they are a channel," he said.
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