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Dell Edges Past Estimates

Dell Computer Corp.'s third-quarter earnings edged passed Wall Street's projections by a penny Thursday, but those numbers didn't live up to some loftier expectations.

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DELL (DELL)
The direct-sales computer giant (DELL) earned $384 million, or 28 cents a share, vs. $248 million, or 17 cents the same period a year ago. Analysts surveyed by First Call expected Dell to make 27 cents a share.

Dell's revenue for the three-month period jumped 51 percent to $4.82 billion from $3.19 billion.

While the bottom line beat estimates, the results may not be strong enough to boost shares of the personal computer manufacturer on Friday.

Many analysts in recent days expected Dell to beat the consensus earnings estimates. However, they voiced concern about the possibility of growth slowing amid increasing competition.

On Thursday, the stock fell 2 3/4 to 69 3/16 just two days after investors bid it up to a 52-week high in anticipation of the company's earnings report.

Dell recently cut prices on some of its computer lines and will go head-to-head with Compaq (CPQ) selling computers directly to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Written By Tiare Rath

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