NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Compaq Computer's earnings for the fourth quarter of 1998 edged up slightly, exceeding the consensus of analysts' estimates by 6 cents a share.
The Houston-based computer maker says earnings for the quarter rose to $758 million, or 43 cents a diluted share, from $667 million, or 42 cents, in the 1997 period. Analysts surveyed by First Call had reached a consensus estimate of 37 cents a share for Compaq's (CPQ) quarter.
Revenue for the quarter rose 48 percent to $10.86 billion from $7.32 billion a year earlier.
"The fourth-quarter revenue and earnings results represent new records for Compaq and a key milestone in our successful integration of Digital Equipment Corporation," says Compaq President Eckhard Pfeiffer. "Sales out of the distribution channels grew 43 percent over the fourth quarter, a growth rate estimated at three times the market."
For all of 1998, Compaq lost $2.74 billion, or $1.71 a diluted share, in large part due to costs related to its merger with Digital Equipment. In 1997, the company earned $1.86 billion, or $1.19 a diluted share. Revenue rose 27 percent to $31.17 billion.
"We continue to see strong demand for Compaq products and the opportunity for continued market share gains and revenue growth," Pfeiffer adds. "With the majority of the Digital integration successfully behind us, we enter the new year ready to completely unfold and deploy the strategy we have been working towards for the past year and a half."
On Tuesday, Compaq announced that it is splitting its AltaVista unit into a separate company, saying it seeks to make the AltaVista site a leader in providing information and commerce on the Internet.
Compaq stock closed Tuesday at 49-1/4, up 2-9/16.