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Tech Industry

CompUSA sees 23 percent jump in 4Q sales, but prices plummet

    CompUSA Inc. (NYSE: CPU) said Wednesday sales in its fourth quarter rose to $1.46 billion, up 23 percent from the $1.19 billion it recorded in the year-ago period. Its shares closed up 1/8 to 7 7/16.

    A survey of analysts by Zack's Investment Research Inc. predicts CompUSA will lose 23 cents a share in the quarter.

    Last quarter, it lost $4.9 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $1.69 billion.

    Company officials said comparable store sales inched up 1 percent in the quarter for its 155 retail outlets.

    For the fiscal year, CompUSA said it sales improved 20 percent from the year-ago period to $6.32 billion.

    Technical services sales and training sales for the fourth quarter increased 29 percent to $36 million and 17 percent to $30 million, respectively, from the comparable period a year ago.

    However, average selling prices of desktop computers fell 20 percent compared to the third quarter and 7 percent versus the year-ago quarter.

    Its shares peaked at 21 3/4 in July before plunging to a low of 5 9/16 in August.

    Eleven of the 14 analysts following the stock rate it either a "hold" or a "sell."

    CompUSA will announce its fourth quarter and year-end results on Aug. 18.