According to third quarter data obtained by market research firm, International Data Corporation, as reported by Reuters News bureau, Dell Computer Corporation has regained its number one ranking in the worldwide global computer market, which grew again for the first time in over a year. Dell took the top ranking away from Hewlett-Packard Corporation with a lead of 3.5% in computer shipments. ``Dell is clearly the No. 1 worldwide at this point, by enough of a margin so that it's not a matter of statistical error,'' IDC analyst Roger Kay told Reuters. HP had been ahead of Dell previously when it merged with Compaq Computer Corporation. The global PC market grew in the third quarter, after five consecutive quarters of declines, according to the preliminary data. ``Growth remains limited, but at least the market is moving in the right direction again,'' said Loren Loverde, Director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. ``We believe the market is a lot healthier than it was three months ago, as inventories have come down and expectations for growth are more realistic.''
In a related story, Standard & Poor's credit rating agency raised Dell Computer's credit rating from "BBB-plus" to "A-minus" yesterday, citing Dell's consistent profitability and performance, as well as its "stable" rating outlook, in spite of difficult economic conditions.