“Dell Inc. said Wednesday that federal regulators had begun a formal investigation into the computer giant, which had been part of an informal inquiry since August,” Matt Slagle reports for The Associated Press.

“Dell also said it was postponing the release of its third quarter earnings report — scheduled for Thursday after markets close — until sometime later in the month,” Slagle reports.

“The company said the earnings report delay was unrelated to the widening Securities and Exchange Commission probe. A company spokesman told The Associated Press that the company did not know what the SEC was specifically investigating,” Slagle reports. “In a press release issued late Wednesday, Dell said the delay was due to the ‘level of complexity the company is facing in the preparation of its preliminary results.'”

“The third-quarter report will be posted as press release and won’t include the usual conference calls where analysts and reporters can ask questions of founder Michael Dell and Chief Executive Kevin Rollins,” Slagle reports. “Analysts, on average, had been looking for third-quarter earnings of 24 cents per share on sales of $14.44 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Financial. Dell has yet to file its second quarter earnings with federal regulators because it has been trying to resolve unspecified accounting issues with its internal audit committee.”

Full article here.
That’s right, we said “beleaguered.” What would we do to fix the beleaguered PC box assembler/former MP3 player-maker/owner of two whole retail stores with zero inventory? We’re so glad you asked! We’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.

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