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AST Announces New PCs as IBM Did Earlier

Times Staff Writer

The battle for market share in the super-competitive personal computer industry continued heating up Thursday as AST Research announced the introduction of three new personal computer models hard on the heels of IBM’s unveiling of similar products earlier this month.

The AST computers, part of the Irvine personal computer maker’s Premium/286 line, are comparable to IBM’s new PS/2 Model 30-286, although they are priced from 11% to 18% less than similarly configured IBM computers.

“We are challenging IBM head-on with this announcement,” said Mike Morand, vice president of AST product marketing.

Earlier this week, AST issued a press release stating that the company’s sales for the current quarter, which ends today, should be in the range of $100 million to $110 million. Although that would represent an increase of from 27% to 40% over the same quarter a year ago, some Wall Street analysts had been projecting a stronger performance.

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That AST’s sales did not soar any higher is partly explained by the IBM product announcement, which has caused many personal computer dealers to delay purchases in an effort to evaluate the new machines, according to Benny Lorenzo, a securities analyst with Volpe & Covington, a San Francisco brokerage.


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