Dell reports decent Q2 earnings as company future still looks uncertain

Summary:Could this be the last time that Dell reports quarterly earnings as a public company? The shareholders are still out on that one.

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Amid its ongoing self-identity crisis, Dell turned in its fiscal second quarter earnings report after the bell on Thursday.

The PC maker reported a net income of $204 million, or 12 cents per share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 25 cents per share on a revenue of $14.5 billion, flat year over year.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 24 cents per share with revenue of $14.18 billion.

CEO and founder Michael Dell actually did not provide any prepared remarks for Thursday's report

Instead, Dell Brian Gladden glossed over the hubbub, remarking, "In a challenging environment, we remain committed to our strategy and our customers, and we’re encouraged by increasing customer interest in our end-to-end solutions offerings and continued growth in our Enterprise Solutions, Services and Software businesses."

Here's how revenue broke down by department:

  • Enterprise Solutions Group: $3.3 billion, up eight percent
  • Services: $2.1 billion, up two percent
  • Software: $310 million with "an operating loss"
  • End User Computing: $9.1 billion down five percent

For the third quarter, Wall Street is looking for earnings of 25 cents per share on a revenue of $13.90 billion.

But given that corporate leadership wants to take Dell private, Round Rock did not provide an outlook. Yet a third quarter earnings release is still scheduled on Dell's Investor Relations calendar for November 19.

The announcement of Dell's second quarter earnings report actually came as a surprise to many investors and analysts given that the Texas corporation only announced a release date the day prior.

Then again, maybe nothing should come as a surprise to anyone following news about the tech giant given the constant flux it has been in for months since its CEO announced plans to take the company private in a $24.4 billion deal , or $13.65 per share.

But things haven't been easy -- especially in the face of American business magnate and major Dell investor Carl Icahn, who has done virtually everything possible to block Michael Dell's bid.

Most recently, Icahn picked up four million more Dell shares at a rate of $12.94 per share, bringing his grand total number of Dell shares to 156,478,650. The Wall Street Journal highlighted that he now owns 8.9 percent of the business, making him the second largest shareholder behind the CEO.

Icahn's clout with shareholders and analysts was likely given a boost with his recent (although unspecified) investment in Apple .

After a few other bumps along the road (not to mention delayed shareholder votes), Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake have since raised their offer in order to buy the company and take it private to $13.75 per share, or $24.9 billion.

Topics: PCs, Dell, Hardware, Tech Industry

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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