View Full Version : Is Dell Dying?

08-31-2005, 05:07 AM

What's wrong with America's greatest computer company. (
By Daniel Gross
Posted Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005, at 1:01 PM PT

For 21 years, Dell ( has been the business media's most dearly beloved company. Since Michael Dell founded the company in his University of Texas dorm room in 1984, the company has been hugged and kissed and fondled by crush-struck business journalists (and analysts and investors).

Dell has been adored because it is the very model of a flat-earth, New Economy business. It takes orders directly from customers over the phone and the Internet, sources components around the world, and assembles and delivers them with a hyper-efficient supply chain. Add in an ethos of responsive consumer service, and you get a clean, organically grown giant. In an age of corporate decadence, Dell has had no significant run-ins with regulators or the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among the best-performing big stocks in the 1990s boom, it bent but didn't break during the bust. Fiscal 2005 revenues were $49 billion, placing it 28th on the Fortune 500 (,14923,28,00.html). And Dell has continued to take market share from rivals like IBM and the combined Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, with 18 percent of the global market for PCs in 2004. At today's price, the company is worth a whopping $85 billion. And seldom is heard a discouraging word about regular-guy founder and chairman Michael Dell, whose $14.2 billion fortune places him ninth on the Forbes 400 ( Great guy, superior business model, fantastic stock.

But all of a sudden, Dell is getting walloped. There has been a disappointing earnings report, complaints about customer service, unflattering stock charts, and a rash of articles questioning Dell's futureóBusiness Week had two negative Dell articles in its current issue, and the Financial Times had a critical takeout last week. Is Dell still "a wonder of the modern business world," as the Financial Times put it? (Here's the link ( Or is it in trouble?

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Dungeon Master
08-31-2005, 05:20 AM
If they were going under, you would think they would halt the new construction of their second building off the river.
Nah, the're OK. It's just a bump in the road.