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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, January 22, 2001

Dell issues warning on sales, profits

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Dell Computer Corp., the No. 1 direct seller of personal computers, said fiscal fourth-quarter sales and profit will not meet forecasts because demand for computers and services fell.

The firm's shares closed down 13 cents at $25.50 on the Nasdaq after earlier falling as low as $23.63. The stock had risen 47 percent this month before today.

Global and U.S. personal-computer shipments rose 10.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a forecast of 15 percent, as corporate orders for replacements fell, Dataquest Inc. said. PC makers including Compaq Computer Corp., Gateway Inc. and Apple Computer Inc., have said sales missed forecasts because of a sluggish holiday season, Bloomberg News reported.

Sneaker seller files for bankruptcy

NORTH READING, Mass. -- Sneaker maker Converse Inc. said today it had filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws and plans a restructuring that would include closing North American plants and shifting production to plants in Asia.

Converse said it plans to become exclusively a licensor of Converse-brand products, as it is in overseas markets. The firm has filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge seeking approval of an agreement with Global Brand Marketing, Inc. that would make GMI the licensee for Converse-brand footwear in the United States. It said it has enough financing to continue operations during the restructuring.

In other news

Bullet BOSTON -- Gillette Co. named James M. Kilts chairman and CEO today, turning to the man who engineered a dramatic turnaround at Nabisco to revive the struggling shaving products company. Kilts, 52, rejuvenated Nabisco, the maker of Ritz crackers and Oreo cookies, paving the way for its $14.9 billion acquisition by Kraft Foods Inc., a Philip Morris subsidiary, announced last June.

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