Apple fortunes rise as Dell misses Q3 financial targets

As Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs leads his company to record quarterly revenue and earnings, competitor Dell Inc., led by Michael Dell, will miss its third-quarter revenue guidance. Dell company officials blame lower than expected sales for the shortfall, which will be the second straight financial quarter the company will miss its revenue projections.

In addition to dropping sales, Dell said that it would take a US$450 million charge to replace broken Optiplex desktops and restructure its workforce.

Dell now expects revenue for the company's third quarter, which ended last Friday, to be about $13.9 billion. In August, Dell predicted third-quarter revenue would fall between $14.1 billion and $14.5 billion. The shortfall was due to missed sales targets in the company's U.S. consumer business and its U.K. business, said Jess Blackburn, a company spokesman. He declined to specify exactly what portion of Dell's business was affected.

This will be the second straight quarter that Dell has missed its goals for quarterly revenue. Last quarter, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Rollins said the company failed to convince customers to upgrade their cheaper desktops to more profitable systems.

On October 11, 2005 Apple reported a profit of $430 million for its 2005 fiscal fourth quarter. The company posted revenue of $3.68 billion, the highest revenue and earnings in the company's history.

Apple said it shipped 1,236,000 Macs and 6,451,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 48 percent growth in Macs and 220 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.

For fiscal 2005, Apple generated revenue of $13.93 billion and a net profit of $1.335 billion, reflecting annual growth of 68 percent and 384 percent, respectively, and representing the highest annual revenue and net profit in the company's history.

(IDG's Tom Krazit contributed to this report.)

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