Dell Computer, the number one PC maker in the United States, saw its profits rise 42% in the most recent quarter, as phenomenal Internet sales pulled them through a period of higher hardware costs due largely to the earthquake in Taiwan. The company earned $483 million on revenues of $6.78 billion, compared to $384 million in profits and $4.82 billion in revenues for the same quarter a year before. However, Dell also saw a one-time cost of $194 million for an acquisition, driving profits down to $289 million for the quarter ending October 29.
Most impressive for Dell, of course, is its Internet sales, which rose to $35 million a day (43% of total revenue) by the end of October. If Dell only relied on its Internet sales, the company would still rank in the top 125 of Fortune 500 companies. Currently, Dell is ranked 78th.
"Our Internet sales represent only a portion of how we are and will be using the Web's speed and efficiency to the benefit of customers and, in turn, to the company," said Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer. "The Internet is a powerful tool for any business, but it becomes even more compelling for a company that is based on direct relationships with its customers."
Dell Computer trails only Compaq globally. It also recently became the top educational seller of PCs in the United States, beating Apple Computer for the first time