Dell warns of shortfall in Q4 sales, profitsDell Computer said last week it will report lower-than-expected earnings and revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter, ending January 28. The company cited shortages of key semiconductor products and slower-than-expected corporate sales in the wake of the Y2K date change.

Fourth-quarter earnings will be about $US430 million, or 16 cents per share, including a gain of about 1 cent per share from investments, the Texas-based PC maker said.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings of 21 cents per share, according to analyst First Call.

Revenue for the quarter will be about $6.7 billion - 30 per cent higher than the same period a year ago, but again lower than the company had anticipated, Dell said.

CA's Q3 boosted by demand for software, servicesComputer Associates International saw financial results for its third quarter boosted by demand for the company's software and services, especially in the area of facilitating customers' electronic business operations, CA said last week.

For the period ended December 31, the US software vendor reported revenue of $1.8 billion, up 33 per cent on $1.4 billion reported in the year-ago quarter, CA said in a statement issued last week. The $1.8 billion figure includes a negative impact of some $37 million related to foreign exchange issues.

Net income for the third quarter grew to $424.8 million compared with $354.6 million for the same quarter in 1998, while earnings per share rose 28 per cent to 91 cents, CA said.

Professional services, an area the company is keen to see grow, saw revenue increase 64 per cent to $126 million, the software vendor said.

Nortel posts $197m loss with one-time chargesCanadian-based Nortel Networks reported last week that fourth-quarter 1999 revenues were up 21 per cent - $6.99 billion compared to $5.77 billion for the same quarter in 1998.

Net earnings from operations were up 58 per cent for the quarter and 62 per cent for the year.

But the company failed to post a year-end profit after figuring in acquisition costs and one-time gains and charges.

It recorded a $197 million net loss for 1999.

US revenues for the quarter grew by 20 per cent, while outside the US they were up 30 per cent, according to Nortel president and CEO John Roth.

Roth noted that Nortel's optical Internet business grew more than 80 per cent over 1998, and the company aimed to triple its optical manufacturing capacity.