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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 00:08 GMT
Dell beats forecasts with results
Dell computer store
Dell has been hit by a number of setbacks in recent months
Computer giant Dell has unveiled forecast-beating results after a six-day delay caused by a probe into its accounting practices.

The group said profits for the three months to 3 November came in at $677m (356.5m) or 30 cents a share, against analyst forecasts of 24 cents a share.

But it warned the figures may change as a result of the investigation. Dell did not give comparisons for 2005.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a formal probe last Thursday.

The investigation relates to whether Dell accounts dating back to 2002 were mis-stated.

In a separate filing on Tuesday the company said the US attorney for the Southern District of New York had now also requested information about its financial reports.

'Dell Hell'

Dell's latest results included a warning that the investigation could show "a material weakness in the company's internal controls over financial reporting".

Revenues for the third quarter came in at $14.38bn, with the firm thanking improved customer services, rising sales and strong growth in Asia and Europe.

Dell is currently spending $150m on improving customer service - such as taking on more call service staff - in a bid to resolve problems that it admits left its clients in "Dell Hell".

The group has had a turbulent time in recent months.

As well as the SEC probe and customer service complaints it has been hit by Sony's laptop batteries recall and been overtaken by Hewlett Packard as the world's biggest computer-maker.

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