Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Another Big Miss for Dell’s Outlook; Shares Tank

Dell just can’t seem to make Wall Street happy no matter what. Despite all the insistence that it’s out to pull off an IBM-like pivot away from commodity businesses like PCs and printers and toward higher-margin services and enterprise hardware, transformation is proving painful when it comes to showing, well, actual progress.

The world’s third-biggest PC maker gave a forecast for gain in sales of 2 percent to 4 percent in the current quarter, which would top out at $15 billion, fully $400 million short of what Wall Street analysts had expected.

That outlook came on top of sales in the quarter just ended that declined 4 percent to $14.4 billion, amounting to a miss of a half billion from the Street consensus. Per-share earnings were 43 cents, also short of expectations by three cents. It was the second miss in a row for Dell.

Naturally, Dell shares are getting spanked. As of 3 pm PT, they’re down almost 12 percent, at $13.33 a share. And the damage isn’t limited to Dell. Hewlett-Packard, which reports earnings tomorrow, is down in after-hours trading by 56 cents, or nearly 3 percent, to $21.22 a share.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik