Dell to report earnings, plan for the future

California governor Jerry Brown and Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell look on during a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the new Dell research and development facility on October 19, 2011 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Jeff Horwich: Some interesting earnings reports coming in today: Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, La-Z-Boy. And later today, after the market closes, the computer company Dell reports its second-quarter numbers. Haven't thought about Dell in a while? Perhaps your boss has.

As Marketplace's Scott Tong reports, the new focus is on the corporate sector.


Scott Tong: Dell is putting less emphasis on the consumer market, where it’s lagging. Sales are off 12 percent from last year. Dell sells less to Chinese shoppers, and its low-end computers are getting crowded out by iPads and other tablets.

Staci Kramer at Paidcontent.org says Dell’s future is selling to companies and the government. Or, in the lingo, the enterprise sector.

Staci Kramer: One of the areas that Dell has the most potential strength in is in the enterprise. And if it’s waiting to make another big consumer hit, I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

Some think Dell’s making a reasonable transition to corporate sales of things like servers and digital storage equipment -- all more profitable lines of business.

But will all that make up for anemic consumer sales? Again, Staci Kramer.

Kramer: They probably aren’t going to grow enough in any one space to make up for what they aren’t getting in the others. And so they’re going to have to cut back, and get even more efficient with what they do.

Already, Dell’s missed analyst estimates two straight quarters.

I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

About the author

Scott Tong is a correspondent for Marketplace’s sustainability desk, with a focus on energy, environment, resources, climate, supply chain and the global economy.

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