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A year ago From The Register No 73, April 1998 Compaq's earnings slumped 96 per cent to $16 million in Q1, compared with the same period in 1997. Sales grew eight per cent to $5.7 billion against last time, which suggests the hardware vendor is flogging a hell of a lot more tin. Shareholders can't say they weren't warned. Earnings matched estimates of analysts, who had been alerted in early March by Compaq’s statement of US trading conditions. Eckhard Pfeiffer, Compaq's charismatic President and CEO, comments: "At that time, we said we would immediately reduce prices and aggressively promote commercial products in North America in order to reduce channel inventories and accelerate the implementation of our Optimised Distribution Model (ODM), and that is exactly what we are doing. As a result, we are seeing an acceleration of sales out of the channel." The company says it will "take another quarter of adjustment to put the Company's core business on a track of improved profitability." ® Compaq's latest earnings are out later today

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