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Computer industry to grow 19%

Market research firm Dataquest predicts big growth in the computer industry, led by companies such as Compaq, Dell, and IBM.

Dataquest said the worldwide personal computer industry will grow significantly this year led by high-growth companies such as Dell Computer (DELL) and IBM (IBM).

The worldwide personal computer industry will grow 19 percent in 1997, according to the market researcher's forecast. In the first quarter, the market grew 15.4 percent. "The first quarter is traditionally a slow quarter for the PC market, so Dataquest analysts believe that the worldwide PC market is still in position to grow 19 percent in 1997," the firm said in a prepared statement.

Compaq continues to lead all manufacturers in worldwide and U.S. shipments with 9.8 percent of the market. Compaq gained slight market share over the rest of the pack in the first quarter, and "it sustained a 17.7 percent growth rate, which is slightly above the industry average," Dataquest said.

Dell is demonstrating exceptionally strong growth, according to Dataquest. It is in the No. 4 spot worldwide with five percent of the market. "With the highest inventory turns in the business, coupled with a large, tenacious sales force on the street armed with a consistent price advantage, Dell continues to post incredible period-to-period growth rates," said Bill Schaub, Dataquest's computer group director in a prepared statement. Dell showed a growth rate of over 65 percent compared to the first quarter in 1996.

IBM also continues to gain ground in the PC business. It showed growth of 37 percent compared to the same quarter last year and is now solidly in the No. 2 slot worldwide with 7.2 percent of the market behind Compaq.

Packard Bell NEC is in third place and Toshiba is ranked fifth.

In U.S. shipments, Compaq is No. 1, followed by Packard Bell-NEC, Dell, IBM, and Gateway 2000 (GATE).