SAN FRANCISCO -- Dell ( DELL) filed its delinquent financial reports Tuesday, taking a long-awaited step in getting its house back in order. Tuesday's earnings report filings -- which Dell had delayed as it conducted an internal investigation into its bookkeeping -- should bring the PC maker back into compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements and pave the way for the company to resume stock buybacks. Dell also will finally reopen the lines of communications with investors, by holding its first conference call in a year when it reports its quarterly earnings next month. Shares of Dell gained 2.3%, or 69 cents, to $30.49 in extended trading Tuesday. Dell said Tuesday that its investigation involved the manipulation of reserve and accrued liability accounts in order to meet financial targets. "According to the investigation, these activities typically occurred in the days immediately following the end of a quarter, when the accounting books were being closed and the results of the quarter were being compiled," read Dell's filing with the SEC Tuesday. The adjustments ranged from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several million dollars and "were viewed at times as an acceptable device to compensate for earnings shortfalls that could not be closed through operational means," the filing continued. In all, the restatement shaves $359 million from the $196.2 billion that Dell generated between 2003 and the first quarter of 2007, equivalent to 0.18% decline according to Dell spokesperson Bob Pearson.
Net income is $92 million lighter than the more than $12 billion that Dell earned during the time frame, with EPS decreasing by 3 cents. Dell said it is continuing to cooperate with the investigations launched by the SEC and the Department of Justice on the matter. While the restatements may bring Dell closer to resolving its legal issues, the company still has a lot of work to do in improving its performance in the competitive market for PCs. The company has seen its sales slow and lost its top spot in the worldwide PC market to rival Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ). Meanwhile, Taiwan's Acer is looking to grab a bigger piece of the pie, with its recent acquisition of Gateway. Since founder Michael Dell returned to the CEO role earlier this year however, Dell has made a number of moves to turn things around, notably striking deals to sell its PCs at retailers WalMart ( WMT) and Staples ( SPLS), among others -- a sharp departure from Dell's previous model of selling directly over the Internet. Analysts expect Dell's sales to show a year-over-year increase of 6% to $15.3 billion with EPS of 35 cents when it reports quarterly results on Nov. 29. After more than a year of silence during the internal accounting investigation, Dell's Pearson said the company will actually discuss the results in a conference call next month. And the company expects to beginning buying its stock back in December, following the earnings results, picking up whatever share repurchases remains from its previous program as well as potentially authorizing a new program.