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Dell execs file to sell shares

Michael Dell files to sell 1.2 million of his shares in his company, a typical quarterly sale that coincides with a dip in the stock.

Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computer, has filed to sell 1.2 million of his shares in his company, a typical quarterly sale that coincides with a dip in the stock.

The sale represents 1.24 percent of Dell's 103 million shares.

"He has been selling a very small percentage of stock every quarter for several years," Dell spokesman T.R. Reid said. "His selling is planned, and it's quarterly?it's a small diversification of his assets."

Dell vice chairman Morton Topfer, who is a member of the office of the CEO, has filed to sell 200,000 shares. According to the company's proxy filing late yesterday, Topfer's sale represents nearly 12 percent of his holdings.

The direct-sales computer company's stock has fallen since mid-May from a 52-week high of 98.50 to yesterday's close of 82.62, up 4.31.

Before a 2-for-1 stock split in March, Michael Dell sold 480,000 shares, with prices ranging from $125.25 to $130.25 a share. Between November and December of last year, he sold 311,000 shares ranging from $85 to $86.50 a share, said Craig Columbus, an insider trading analyst with Disclosure.

"This is the stock's first retreat," Columbus said. "The company is a bellwether technology stock, and insiders are selling into some weaker waters."

Topfer, for his part, sold 150,000 shares in February, ranging between $129.31 and $131 a share, Columbus said. In December of last year, he sold 100,000 shares at between $87.75 and $90.63 a share.