Cramer: Memo to Michael Dell and Carl Icahn
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:30 a.m. EDT on Real Money on July 19. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
After what I heard yesterday from all of the tech companies I follow, Dell is worth perhaps less than the $9 per share this whole fiasco -- this huge sideshow to the reality of this company and this industry -- started at.
First, if you listen to Intel (INTC), if you listen to Microsoft (MSFT), you know that the personal computer is in a horrendous secular decline. Sure, some of it is being replaced by tablets and cellphones, but the bread-and-butter personal computer is going to decline by more than 10% this year and I believe it will be even worse next year.Attempts to revive it using the Microsoft Surface have failed already. That's what happens when you take a $900 million charge for a new product before it's even in distribution. That new device, important for the consumer business of Dell will, it sounds like to me, be off the shelves and gone this time next year. Second, we know from Intel that there are no chips so exciting as to mean anything to most users, individual or the enterprise. Sure Moore's law could be alive, and the chips keep getting smaller and smaller. But unless you work at NASA and want to put a man on the moon, you don't need that power. Yes, Intel says when it gets the new chips needed to power the ultra-mobile units that come out in the fall, maybe there will be a bump. But it is more likely that Lenovo will come up with some cheap device that will cut Dell's profit margins to shreds. Basically, Dell is selling color TV sets at this point. That's right, big color TV sets, and not even the sexy flat panels, just the ones that Zenith, Admiral, JVC, and Philips used to make. The ones that they can't give away at Best Buy (BBY), except when your kids go to college and they insist on a TV -- that is if they even bother to hook one up any more as they are conditioned to watching on tablets these days.
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