SAN FRANCISCO--Though he was in town to discuss Dell's new storage products for small and medium-size business customers, company founder and CEO Michael Dell also took time to answer questions about the company's main business, PC sales, which is also an area in which it's recently struggled.
Dell reiterated his company's assertion that there will be more to come of its recent dabblings in selling desktops and notebooks through retail channels.
"We're going to expand to a number of places," he said. "I would expect over the next quarters you'll see … Read more
For the first time since Dell admitted that some of its accountants had been cooking the books to meet quarterly numbers, company founder Michael Dell spoke publicly about the scandal.
At the Citigroup Technology Conference in New York City on Wednesday, Dell said he had no part in the fudged numbers and no idea what the accounting department was up to between 2003 and 2006.
"I was not involved in or aware of any of the accounting irregularities. And certainly I'm not proud of what occurred at our company, but I'm proud of the company overall," … Read more
Dell is keeping tight-lipped on this, but apparently they've got a new high-end XPS gaming laptop coming out soon called the XPS m1730. We all know about it, as it's been leaked on Engadget, Laptoping, and our favorite French tech Web site, LesDeLLiens, among other places.
The purported M1730 should be worth checking out if the various online accounts are correct--it offers Intel's new Core 2 Extreme X7800 CPU, a Blu-ray drive, SLI graphics, solid-state hard drive options, and other high-end parts. From the photos we've seen, it does have one major advantage over the current … Read more
Dell actually beat analysts' expectations Thursday when it released the preliminary results of its earnings for the second quarter of fiscal year 2008, but again opted against the traditional follow-up conference call with company executives, investors and the media.
Dell has failed to file its last six quarterly earnings reports and its last annual report with the SEC due to the company's internal investigation into its accounting practices. The probe, which was wrapped up earlier this month, found that Dell accountants were regularly fudging quarterly earnings numbers as far back as 2003 to meet or surpass Wall Street expectations. … Read more
Just weeks after blaming paint issues for delays in shipping some models of the XPS m1330, Dell has acknowledged that the same problems have affected the much-hyped multihued Inspiron line as well. Apparently the fancy colors that are the centerpiece of Dell's marketing are the very colors causing delay; the black and white Inspirons are shipping more or less on schedule. As with the XPS m1330, Dell is characterizing the issue as a problem of scale--they're struggling to produce a consistently high-quality finish as they manufacture larger numbers of the machines. "We'll continue to work directly … Read more
As reported, Dell recently concluded a year-long internal investigation into its accounting practices. As a result, the company will restate its financials for four fiscal years (2003 through 2006) plus the first quarter of fiscal 2007. The good news is that the cumulative decrease in net income will be between $50 and $150 million - peanuts compared with Dell's reported profit of $12 billion during the restatement period.
The bad news, however, is contained in a rather heavily wordsmithed paragraph of Dell's press release:
"The investigation identified evidence that certain adjustments appear to have been motivated by the objective of attaining financial targets. According to the investigation, these activities typically occurred at the close of a quarter. The investigation found evidence that, in that timeframe, account balances were reviewed, sometimes at the request or with the knowledge of senior executives, with the goal of seeking adjustments so that quarterly performance objectives could be met."
It appears that certain senior executives had a chronic case of end of quarter madness, a relatively common disease among executives of publicly traded companies.
Confirming what was evident from Dell's announcement, CFO Don Carty said in a conference call with investors, "We did find evidence of fraud." But neither Carty nor Michael Dell - who reclaimed the CEO role in January - would divulge the identities of the senior executives referenced in the company's release.… Read more
If you're going to get into the highly competitive laptop space, you had better suit up in some serious armor. At least that's what Austin-based Augmentix must have been thinking when the company designed its new XTG630 rugged laptop.
Basically built from a re-engineered Dell Latitude D630 laptop (for ease of IT integration), the Augmentix XTG630 has all the parts you'd expect from a serious business notebook, including Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs, a 14-inch display, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, TPM 1.2, and optional mobile broadband, all wrapped up in a rugged housing that meets MIL-STD-810F … Read more
It seems we're all just searching for a way to keep score.
The beauty of sports is that there is always a winner. The beauty of life is that it's not like sports. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Sometimes you get two-thirds of what you expected after leaving something on the table to get that far, and sometimes you fall short of a goal but find yourself better for the experience.
That's why we have sports, to amuse ourselves with contests that fulfill a need for clearly defined winners and losers but that don't … Read more
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that senior Dell executives stretched the truth (read: lied) about quarterly numbers in order to hit quarterly performance goals. The ensuing restatement of earnings will only reduce Dell's profit by $50 to $150 million, but given Dell's struggles, it's hardly welcome news.
It also points to the unhealthy demands that Wall Street may place on companies, something that Google has rejected with its "no guidance policy." Indeed, as the WSJ points out in another recent article, Google's policy of going its own way may pay rich dividends well beyond its relationship with Wall Street. But could Dell do the same?
The alternative is not pleasant. Dell's wrongdoing is non-trivial:… Read more