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Thursday, October 19, 2006

HP Pulls Ahead Of Dell (AMD)(HPQ)(DELL)

Hewlett-Packard grabbed the global PC crown from Dell in the third quarter. HP shipped 100,000 more PCs that Dell, moving it into first place for the first time in three years, according to research firm Gartner.

HP's global share is now 16.3% compared to 16.1% for Dell. Dell still leads in the US with a share of around 31% to HP's 23%.

Dell has been plagued by customer service problems and the company has lost it image as one of the great growth companies among American firms. Despite the board spying scandal at HP and the indictment of its former chairman, the company's CEO, Mark Hurd, is viewed as something of a turnaround artist on Wall St.

The market has known that HP was moving aggressively and successfully on Dell for some time. HP's shares trade near their 52-week high at $39, up from the low of $25.53. Dell's shares change hands at $24,70, near the lower end of its twelve month range of $33.22/$18.95. While HP's stock is up 40% over the last year, Dell's is off almost 25%.

Dell has tried to fix its problems by moving some of its PC's to AMD chips which are in high demand among some buyers, but there is no evidence that this has caused a surge of new sales.

With revenue and operating profit drops, Dell still has a long row to hoe.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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