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Dell will drop the F-bomb FIVE days early in epic power struggle

That's F for financials, and perhaps a D for performance

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Dell has pulled forward the reporting of its fiscal Q1 financials by five days amid a battle between Michael Dell and activist investor Carl Icahn over the future ownership of the Texan PC giant.

The company confirmed last night that it has scheduled the conference call with analysts tomorrow - 16 May - indicating that Dell's numbers could potentially fall short of Wall Street forecasts.

But it made no further mention as to why this is happening earlier than planned and Dell refused to comment further.

According to estimates by the Wall Street Journal, Dell may post sales of $14bn and earnings from operations of $600m. A year ago Dell turned over $14.4bn and made an operating profit of $824m.

The average analyst estimate from Thomson Reuters for Dell's fiscal Q1, which ended in April 2013, is for net profits of $607.1m on the back of revenues of $13.5bn.

In February, founder and CEO Michael Dell tabled a $24.4bn bid to take Dell private again, with a lot of help from Silver Lake Partners and a loan from Microsoft.

The company is losing ground in the device market to Apple and Samsung as consumers switch to tabs and s'mobes, and enterprises extend corporate refresh cycles.

Dell is trying to transform itself into a enterprise tech player to replace those declining PC revenues, and to date has bet more than $13bn on acquisitions to help it get there.

But it'd probably be wiser not to let this play out under the glare of Wall Street's moneymen or under the noses of rivals, so de-listing with a new ownership structure is the plan.

That is if major stakeholder Carl Icahn, who is unhappy with the current offer from Mikey Dell and chums, gets what he wants. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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