“Dell Inc. reported a sharp drop in first-quarter sales and earnings Thursday amid a 34% drop in PC sales,” David Goldman reports for CNNMoney.

“Dell said the road ahead will remain bumpy,” Goldman reports. “‘We don’t believe there’s enough momentum to call a bottom yet,’ said Dell’s finance chief, Brian Gladden, on the conference call. ‘Businesses have been conservative with IT budgets and we believe they will be slow in coming back.'”

“The company said first-quarter net income fell 63% to $290 million, or 15 cents per share, for the period ended April 30,” Goldman reports. “Sales fell 23% to $12.3 billion, narrowly missing analysts’ forecasts of $12.7 billion. Along with its dismal PC sales, Dell’s laptop sales slumped 20% year over year.”

MacDailyNews Take: $12.3 billion to generate $290 million. Sheesh. Nice margins. Or lack thereof. It’s approaching “why bother?” time.

Goldman continues, “Dell said it would continue its aggressive cost-cutting campaign… Dell raised its cost-reduction target in February to $4 billion from $3 billion.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: “We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place — the last thing we were going to do is lay them off. And we were going to keep funding. In fact we were going to up our R&D budget so that we would be ahead of our competitors when the downturn was over. And that’s exactly what we did. And it worked. And that’s exactly what we’ll do this time.” – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Fortune, February 2008