Two straight quarters of silence from Dell executives

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit

Dell will not hold a conference call for either reporters or financial analysts following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings report Thursday, the second straight quarter it has kept mum.

A Dell representative said the company doesn't believe it would be "prudent" to hold a conference call given the investigation into its accounting practices. But Dell has now gone six months without holding one of the traditional post-earnings release.

These conference calls, which can occasionally double as sleeping aids, are nonetheless rare opportunties for a company's management to discuss its business performance and prospects in front of the financial community. Most companies allow only the financial analyst community to ask questions of its top leadership, but Dell held a separate conference call for reporters for several years up until recently.

The last time Dell executives gathered in front of a mass of reporters and analysts was in September at a "Dell Technology Day" in New York. Michael Dell has bought himself some time and some goodwill among investors with his overhaul of the company's management team, but at some point the company will have to talk to investors about the turnaround. Especially if the accounting investigation mushrooms into a larger problem.