Dell's in the Doldrums: Tech Weekly

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --Earnings season is winding down, with a few notable names reporting this week. Dell ( DELL) offered a bleak tone, while Cisco ( CSCO) was slightly more upbeat on the state of its business.

The Round Rock, Texas-based PC maker reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share, missing the Thomson Reuters analyst consensus of 40 cents.

Dell's revenue for the quarter was $13.7 billion, 11% lower than the year-earlier quarter and short of the $13.89 billion analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting. The top line was pressured by falling desktop and mobility revenue.

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Dell is in the process of turning itself around, as it becomes less PC-centric, but the process is taking longer than expected.

Shares of Dell lost 5.9% over the course of the week to close at $8.84.

Cisco, on the other hand, beat Wall Street expectations, and sounded upbeat during its conference call relative to expectations.

The networking giant reported non-GAAP earnings of $2.57 billion, or 48 cents a share, on revenue of $11.88 billion, up from a year-ago equivalent profit of $2.32 billion, or 43 cents a share, on revenue of $11.27 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 46 cents a share on revenue of $11.77 billion.

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Cisco provided healthy guidance, predicting revenue between $11.9 billion and $12.1 billion and earnings of 47 to 48 cents a share, as the company's long-term strategy seems to be working. The current consensus view calls for revenue of $12.06 billion and earnings of 48 cents a share.

Cisco enjoyed a strong week, gaining 6.96% to close at $17.99.


Aside from earnings, executives made the majority of the news this week in tech, as some key managers quit, and one made her first snafu since taking over a company.

Yahoo! ( YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer experienced her first flub this week, as the company's fantasy football platform crashed Sunday, frustrating users.

Mayer came under attack on Twitter, receiving several tweets from users expressing their disappointment (including yours truly), as they could not set their lineups in time for Sunday's NFL games.

Yahoo! offered an olive branch to users on Wednesday, sending out an email offering an explanation, as well as ways to make up for the outage.

Shares of Yahoo! gained 3.5% this past week to finish at $17.86.

Microsoft ( MSFT) was also in the headlines, as Windows boss Steven Sinofsky departed the company, echoing what happened with Apple ( AAPL) and Scott Forstall.

The software giant's CEO Steve Ballmer thanked Sinofsky for his contributions, adding, "To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings."

In the press release, Sinofsky said, "It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company."

There are several rumors as to why Sinofsky left the company, including poor Windows 8 reception, a power play by Ballmer, or perhaps even a bad job review.

Shares of Microsoft fell 8.0% this week to close at $26.52.

Zynga ( ZNGA) also lost members of its executive team, as the company continues to deal with a brain drain.

Dave Wehner resigned as chief financial officer on Tuesday, joining Facebook ( FB) in a senior finance capacity.

Zynga also lost another member of its finance team this week, treasurer Mike Gupta, who left for Twitter. TheStreet interviewed Gupta in March, talking about the company's declining share price, gambling and other topics.

Despite the losses, Zynga shares zoomed 4.2% higher this week to close at $2.21.

Finally, it wouldn't be a week in tech without news from Apple ( AAPL). Supplies of the iPhone 5 are still constrained, as demand for the device is exceptionally strong, and Apple's manufacturers can't make it fast enough.

Supplies have improved recently, as Apple's Web site showed a wait time of two to three weeks, down from three to four weeks.

Terry Gou, the chairman of Foxconn, Apple's Chinese manufacturer, spoke about the difficulties of meeting the incredible demand for the iPhone 5. "It's not easy to make the iPhones. We are falling short of meeting the huge demand," he told reporters.

There were also worries that Apple's relationship with Samsung was getting worse, as Samsung reportedly hiked prices for its application processors (AP) by 20%. Those rumors turned out to be false, with a Samsung official denying the claim. This makes sense, as Apple signs long-term deals for its components at a set rate, and those contracts are very difficult to break.

Apple shares fell 3.5% this week to close at $527.68.

Next week we slow down as the market gets ready for Thanksgiving. It's a light week with regard to earnings. We get results from Brocade ( BRCD), HP ( HPQ) and Salesforce.com ( CRM).

Enjoy your weekend.

Interested in more on Broadcom? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York.

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