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Dell to Unveil Pricing Initiative

Dell (DELL) plans to announce a new "pricing initiative" later this week, the company said on Monday.

The "major" move, which the PC maker plans to unveil on Thursday, will affect the company's products and services aimed at home and small-business customers, said company spokesman Venancio Figueroa III. Figueroa declined to give details of the upcoming announcement, such as whether the company is cutting prices or which of the company's products would be affected.

Obviously, Dell's main product for consumers and small businesses are its desktop and notebook PCs. But the company also offers MP3 players, printers, TVs and handheld computers.

The pricing move comes as Dell, long the dominant PC provider, has run into a rough patch. The company has been struggling to meet Wall Street's earnings expectations and its own guidance. It already announced in May that it was resorting to price cuts to try to bolster sales.

This latest initiative also comes as Dell appears to be losing share to archrival Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). H-P claimed that it gained share in the U.S. and worldwide in its second quarter. Meanwhile, Gartner reported that Dell's shipments grew far slower than the market in the first quarter.

Figueroa denied that the upcoming announcement is related to any market-share erosion.

Shares of Dell were off 2 cents, or less than 1%, in after-hours trading on Monday following the media advisory. The company's stock closed regular trading off 39 cents, or 1.6%, to $23.48.

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