Compaq's fourth-quarter earnings jump 43 percent

Compaq Computer Corp. today reported net income of US$462 million for the fourth quarter, an increase of 43% over the same period a year ago. Worldwide sales were up 15 percent to $5.4 billion, compared to $4.7bn for the year-ago quarter.

Compaq Computer Corp. today reported net income of US$462 million for the fourth quarter, an increase of 43 percent over the same period a year ago.

Earnings per share were $1.64, compared to $1.17 for the fourth quarter last year, Compaq officials said.

Worldwide sales were up 15 percent to $5.4 billion, compared to $4.7bn for the year-ago quarter.

For the year, net income was $1.3bn, an increase of 28% from last year, officials said. Earnings per share rose to $4.66, compared to $3.74 for last year, officials said. Worldwide, sales were up 23% to $18.1bn, compared to $14.8bn for last year, officials said.

One observer is not surprised by Compaq's success.

Compaq did well in the consumer market, one of only a handful of vendors to do so this year, according to Ross Rubin, an analyst at Jupiter Communications in New York.

"Presario's are rethinking what a home PC should look like on the high end," and Compaq did well this year in the server market as well, Rubin says.

Compaq is continuing to send the right message to corporate buyers, which is that they're firm in their commitment to Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. Rubin says. "That is what a lot of corporate buyers want to hear these days," Rubin said.

In addition, the company is getting more aggressive about introducing faster systems and systems incorporating MMX technology, Rubin says.

Compaq should continue to do well for at least the next couple of quarters, according to Rubin.

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