Dell silent again after earnings

The internal investigation into its accounting practices is complete, but Dell still isn't issuing official earnings results or having a traditional call with analysts and members of the press.

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. Meanwhile, the SEC's own investigation continues.

Dell says it's going to get current with its SEC filings in the first week of November, which is good timing. The NASDAQ informed Dell last week it had until November 12 to get its act together or it will be delisted.

Dell says its next earnings report is due November 29, at which time it will return to regularly scheduled programming of taking calls from investors and reporters.

But this quarter was decent. The company reported preliminary results of $14.8 billion in revenue and earnings of 32 cents per share. Servers were the company's strength again, responsible for $1.6 billion in revenue.

According to Gartner, Dell continues to lose worldwide market share in the PC space to Hewlett-Packard. Though still No. 1 in PCs shipped in the U.S., its shipment growth has declined 11 percent from a year ago.

Dell representatives declined to provide details about when the paint problems delaying backlogged orders of its anticipated Inspiron and XPS 1330 notebooks would be resolved.

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