Dell Sees Strong Fourth Quarter - TheStreet

Confirming what many had suspected must be true,

Dell Computer

(DELL) - Get Report

said profits and revenues in its fourth fiscal quarter would beat existing forecasts.

The PC direct-marketer said it expects to earn 17 cents a share on revenues of $8 billion in the quarter, which ends Feb. 1. The company had previously forecast earnings of 16 cents on revenues of $7.6 billion.

Dell said product shipments in its consumer business will rise 50% in the fourth quarter from the third, and that the segment's sequential revenue growth will be 40%. The company said it expects to post a year-over-year increase in unit shipments in both the fourth quarter and fiscal year.

Dell's preannouncement followed

Compaq's

(CPQ)

surprisingly strong fourth quarter earlier this week, in which the No. 2 computer maker earned 6 cents a share before a charge on $8.5 billion in revenues.