NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For all the talks about the death of the PC, conversations that I've considered grossly premature, it seems that the prolonged struggles of tech giant Dell (DELL) would suggest that this morbid chatter may actually be right on time. For a company I have always wanted to give the benefit of the doubt, it is getting progressively difficult to ignore that the "lights at the end of tunnels" could be those of an incoming train.
As its most recent quarter would suggest, these lights are now coming from both directions; Dell's best option might be to change tunnels altogether. In other words, it needs to shift its focus and possibly rethink its strategies.
Dell needs to make a move to remind Wall Street that not only does it still have the competitive spirit, but it is determined to take back that which was stolen from it -- its growth. It can do this by acquiring Research in Motion (RIMM) and announcing its presence in the mobile device market to compete with the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), and firing a revenge shot at its OEM partner Microsoft (MSFT). Its life now depends on it.
In the company's second-quarter earnings announcement, investors learned that for as bad as things once appeared for Dell, things just may actually be getting worse. Even more disappointing is that it seems the company's management just can't find the right mix to fix its problems.For the period ending in July, Dell said it earned $732 million, or 42 cents per share, on revenue of $14.5 billion. Excluding costs, the company said it would have earned 50 cents per share. While the company would have topped analysts' estimates of 45 cents, the numbers still represent an 18% annual decline from the $890 million it earned last year. What's more, its revenue figures also fell off by 8% from the same period of a year ago -- falling short of analysts' estimates by $200 million. Dell continues to show a considerable amount of weakness, not only in its mobility division to the extent of a 19% year-over-year decline, but its PC business also fell 9%. Even more concerning is the fact that revenue actually dropped 14% annually when combined both desktops and laptops -- lending further credence to the notion that PCs are dying in favor of tablets and mobile devices.
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