SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

February 21, 2011 11:25 ET

Apple and Dell Poised to Benefit From Improving PC Market

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Apple & Dell

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 21, 2011) -  The personal computer market is mounting a strong comeback this year. While high unemployment has harmed consumer spending in North America, demand for PCs in emerging markets is growing at a rapid rate. In India for example, desktop PCs reported 14 percent increase year-on-year, while the sales of notebook computers grew at 49 percent in the fourth quarter. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Personal Computers Industry and provides research reports on Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Dell, Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Dell is trying to expand beyond personal computers to products with higher profit margins, like services, data storage, servers and mobile devices. Last week shares of Dell skyrocketed the personal computer maker more than doubled its fourth-quarter earnings. Profits for the quarter came in at $927 million, or 48 cents a share, up from $334 million, or 17 cents, in the year-ago quarter. The company said revenue for the quarter climbed 5 percent to nearly $15.7 billion from $14.9 billion.

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Apple leads the mobile PC market at the moment with 10.2 million units shipped, giving it a 17.2% market share. The company is also gaining market share in Mac unit sales. In the company's fourth quarter Apple sold more than 4 million Macs.

Shares of Apple have rebounded nicely after last month's announcement that the company's legendary CEO Steve Jobs will be taking another medical leave of absence. For the third time in seven year Jobs, a cancer survivor, has left the company in the hands of Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Analysts argue that provided Jobs does return, Apple's stock shouldn't be hurt too badly from the news.

Outright retirement, however, could be a different story. Eleven years ago when Bill Gates -- who carries the similar "cult like" status as Jobs -- stepped down as Microsoft's CEO, shares plunged close to fifty percent.

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