Despite a proposed merger that has clouded Compaq Computer Corp.s future, the U.S. Postal Service has left no doubt that it still expects the company to deliver the goods for years to come.
The Houston-based computer maker announced late Thursday that the government agency awarded it a new five-year contract to supply PCs, servers and services, worth bout $1 billion.
The Postal Service has relied on Compaq since 1994 to provide much of its computing needs, buying more than 32,000 servers, 180,000 desktops and 50,000 notebook computers, according to Compaq.
The deal comes one month after Compaqs board of directors announced that the company agreed to be acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co., its longtime rival based in Palo Alto, Calif. U.S. regulators are currently reviewing the merger, which would create the worlds largest PC vendor.
The contract win is welcomed news for Compaq, which in recent weeks has suffered a series of setbacks as investor skepticism sent its stock price lower and fallout from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks caused a dramatic drop in sales.
Last week, the computer maker warned that the negative impact from those events as well as other problems would cause the company to post a loss this quarter.
"This is a tremendous contract award," said Peter Blackmore, executive vice president of worldwide sales and services for Compaq. "A contract of this magnitude validates Compaqs strategy of focusing on integrated solutions that create value for customers."