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eMachines, the bottom-scraping budget PC maker, has been delisted from Nasdaq because its shares fell below the $1 level.

Things aren't looking good for the company. Earlier in the month announced it might put itself up for sale and retained Credit Suisse First Boston to help it. In March it announced it was laying off 16 per cent of its staff, to get expenses into line with falling sales.

eMachines is Korean-owned but based in America. It sells PCs as cheap as they come, and it built huge market share in 1999 through deals with MSN among others which saw customers receive PCs as part of bundled ISP contracts. Since the end of those deals sales have fallen by half.

There is good news however. PC World, the computer superstore chain owned by electrical goods retailer Dixons, loves the eMachines systems. MD Simon Turner said: "It's a high quality product. The stores like it because of the quality and the price point."

But then eMachines last year awarded exclusive European representation rights to Dixons Stores Group, and solus retail rights in countries where the electronics retail giant operated.

eMachines started in November 1998, it sold one million machines in its first year, and has sold a further 2.7 million PCs since. It sold 311,000 units in Q4 2000, down 49 percent from the fourth quarter of 1999. ®

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