Dell Meeting Approved as Non-Addictive Sleep Aid
Asked back in 1997 what he would do if he were CEO of Apple (AAPL), Michael Dell replied, “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.“
Put the same question about Dell (DELL) to Apple CEO Steve Jobs today and he might offer a similar answer. Dell on Monday announced plans to shutter a desktop computer manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas – a move that will eliminate about 900 jobs. And the company is performing a “strategic assessment of ownership alternatives” for its Dell Financial Services unit. Translation: “Anyone wanna buy a financial-services group?”
All this, just days before Dell’s analyst meeting– an event which most attendees appear to be approaching with a healthy skepticism. “We believe investors will be disappointed that milestones and financial targets will not be given,” Lou Miscioscia, an analyst at Cowen and Co., wrote in a recent research note. Shaw Wu, from American Technology Research, takes an even dimmer view of the meeting. He’s not even going to bother to attend.
Not exactly the anticipation you’d expect for Dell’s first analyst meeting in years. But then Dell’s recent performance isn’t much to get excited about. Certainly, Michael Dell has fallen a bit short of his to turn the business around within 18 months of his return to the CEO slot. As Fort Pitt Capital Management analyst Kimberly Caughey says, “Investors are a funny lot: They expect you to keep your word.”