Compaq reports Q3 loss

Compaq Computer has missed lowered earnings expectations for the third quarter, following a streak of bad luck that chief executive officer Michael Capellas called "the perfect storm".

For the third quarter, ending September 30, Compaq reported revenue of $US7.5 billion, a 33 per cent drop from the $11.2 billion reported in the same quarter last year. The company's net loss from operations was $120 million.

The third quarter was a tough one for the company. In addition to the terrorist attacks in the US, which temporarily grounded all air shipments, there was also a major typhoon in Taiwan. These issues combined caused the company to lose the equivalent of a week's worth of business, Capellas said in early October.

The company's results didn't come as much of a surprise, however. Earlier this month the company said it expected its revenue to come in between $7.4 billion and $7.5 billion for the quarter. At that time, Compaq said it would take a $500 million charge in the quarter primarily related to its investment in CMGI.

Compaq expects things to brighten up a little during the next quarter. In the statement, Capellas estimated that fourth-quarter revenue would be in the range of $7.6 billion to $7.8 billion. He estimated the company would report a loss of about $0.03 per share.