HP edges past Dell in global PC shipments for the third quarter

Dell has been sitting in the driver's seat for PC shipments ever since the fourth quarter of 2003. That all changed during the third quarter of this year as Hewlett-Packard eased into the first place position. According to the latest figures from Gartner Dataquest, HP saw its worldwide shipments climb by 15% to 9.65 million units. Dell, on the other hand, saw its shipments rise by just under 4% to 9.54 million units.

"We are delighted to have reclaimed the number-one share position in a period where we also achieved profitability and revenue milestones," said HP executive CP Todd Bradley.

Analysts point to HP CEO Mark Hurd as the reason behind the company’s change of fortune. Hurd took over for Carly Fiorina in 2005 and has made great strides in trimming HP’s workforce, cuttings costs and boosting revenue.

Dell shares dropped by 6.19% to $23.17 today upon the announcement of the news. Dell depends heavily on its US operations for PC sales and a 7.1% slide in US shipments gave HP an opening. "The rate of growth reflects our efforts to rebalance our execution in areas such as pricing, growth outside the U.S. and improved customer experience," said a spokeswoman for Dell.

An analyst for Banc of America Securities wasn’t so optimistic. "If the company is unable to meet revenue estimates during a robust PC demand environment, how will the company be able to meet expectations during a weaker, slowing growth environment,” wrote Keith Bachman.

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