NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It seems utterly pointless to discuss another earnings report from Dell (DELL). The beleaguered tech giant logged another earnings miss and not even the magnitude of the company's 72% profit decline registered on any performance scale.
Investors have become numb to the idea that there's still a story here.
What's unclear is Dell's underlying value. It's been eight months since Michael Dell, along with Silver Lake Partners, offered of a proposal to take Dell private at a price of $13.65 per share, which valued the deal at $24.4 billion. I thought this was a suitable offer for a company that has grossly underperformed over the past five years. The stock, as you would expect, has flat-lined ever since.
However, with the company hemorrhaging revenue, earnings and market share each quarter, it's anyone's guess as to what Dell is truly worth. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who has been in a tug-of-war with Michael Dell over the company's ownership, thinks he knows how to realize that value. Given the performance of Icahn's investments to date -- a portfolio that now includes Apple (AAPL) -- I tend to believe him.
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