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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 23:36 GMT
Dell earnings miss market targets
A Dell computer
Dell is in the process of revamping its management team
Computer company Dell has reported earnings that missed analysts' targets and warned that profits would remain under pressure in the coming months.

The world's second-largest computer firm, Dell has been losing clients as rivals such as Hewlett-Packard have been cutting prices to boost sales.

Dell said net profit was $673m (345m) in the three months to 2 February on sales of $14.4bn.

The figures are preliminary as Dell's earnings are being investigated.


Dell said earlier this year that it would probably miss the market's earnings targets, prompting the company's founder to take over as chief executive.

Michael Dell founded the company in 1984 while at college and left the top job in 2004 to act as chairman.

He has now replaced Kevin Rollins as chief executive and will also continue as chairman.

"We are disappointed with the company's results, but what matters is our future plan of action," Mr Dell said in a statement. "We won't achieve our goals overnight, but we will achieve our goals."

The company's shares fell 1.6% in after-hours electronic trading in New York, indicating that they would fall when US stock markets opened on Friday.

Dell has been struggling to fight off a reinvigorated Hewlett-Packard (HP), which overtook it as the world's largest computer maker last year.

HP has been cutting costs to attract customers, while Dell has been beset by slowing sales, complaints of poor service and a Securities and Exchange Commission into its earnings.

Dell said its growth and profit margins "will be under pressure" in the next several quarters.

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