Is Dell Gaining Steam, Or Blowing Smoke?
As upbeat as the results were, analysts couldn't help comparing them with those of competitor Hewlett-Packard, which on Aug. 16 reported strong fiscal third-quarter results, fueled by a 29% jump in PC sales. HP, the world's No. 1 PC maker, also jacked up projections for the rest of the year.Contrast that with the performance of Dell's core PC unit: Revenue in that business gained just 3.4%, to $8.9 billion. "There is still a lot of work to do in its PC business, so Dell is still a work in progress," says Gartner analyst Charles Smulders.
Much of that work is under way. Dell has begun selling a few models in Wal-Mart Stores and other retailers around the world, ending a long-standing practice of selling to consumers exclusively over the phone and online.