December 2, 2009 / 6:52 PM / in 8 years

Dell sees "moderately good" holiday sales

2 Min Read

<p>A Dell desktop monitor is seen at a Dell outlet in Hong Kong October October 21, 2009.Bobby Yip</p>

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. computer maker DellDELL.O expects a "moderately good" holiday season and increased consumer and commercial demand next year, the company's chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

"I think the consumer cycle has been surprisingly positive this year," Dell's CFO Brian Gladden said at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference.

"It certainly surprised us how strong it was...I think the holiday season will be moderately good...I think we are seeing that play out over the past few weeks," he said.

Dell saw a slice of that improving consumer demand over the weekend on home shopping channel QVC, where 65,000 unit sales of Dell Inspiron notebooks took place on Saturday. That compared with 22,000 units sold in the same period last year, Gladden said.

Revenue from the QVC sales more than doubled year over year, a Dell spokesman said.

Corporate demand also began to pick up late in Dell's fiscal third quarter, and continued into the first weeks of its fiscal fourth quarter, which began in November, he said.

On the commercial side, Gladden also said an "elongated cycle of refresh" was due, probably next year, for everything from "servers all the way through client products."

"Their asset base has aged much beyond what they had expected," he said of corporate clients. "Our view is sometime next year you will start to see that happen.

"We are surprised at how good demand has been over the last few weeks. The hypothesis of a corporate refresh is still alive," he added. "It's just a question of when does that happen and how long. I think you will see an elongated cycle of refresh."

Shares of Dell closed down 1.3 percent at $13.66 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Leslie Gevirtz

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