The chairman and CEO of Compaq last week said he has favourable expectations for the global PC market in the long term, but he had little to say of the short-term challenges facing his company.
Eckhard Pfeiffer said he is optimistic about the future growth of PC sales, despite a current slowdown that has left his company and its distributors with shelves of unsold inventory.
"In the long term, we expect to see continued growth in the global PC market," Pfeiffer said. "It's probably in the 10 to 20 per cent growth range."
For now, however, the "signals" for the US PC market this year are "mixed", he said. He added that competition is very tough in the US which is an "indicator there is more product pushing into the market than demand is eating up".
In Asia, Compaq expects "flat demand"; in Latin America there is "some caution"; and in Europe the company sees "continued good growth", Pfeiffer said.
The comment follows Compaq's recent announcement that revenues for its first quarter will likely be flat compared with the same period a year ago, and that the company's earnings will probably break even for the quarter rather post a profit of $US500 million as expected.