Updated from 4:32 p.m. ET
has started its fall analyst meeting with some bad news.
The company told attendees and investors viewing over the Web Wednesday afternoon that its revenue growth is currently trending about 3 percentage points below expectations. Dell said that if the current environment extended itself through the end of the year, fiscal 2000 sales would total $32 billion. The company blamed weak European demand and slower-than-expected sales to small businesses around the world.
The $32 billion sales figure would put Dell's year-over-year revenue growth at 27%, short of the 30% growth to which the company has been guiding analysts.
Dell said that, partially because of falling component costs, it didn't expect any problems making third-quarter earnings estimates. But it warned that fourth-quarter earnings-per-share could be "one to two cents below company targets."
Analysts polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
expect the company to earn 25 cents a share in the third quarter, up from the year-ago 18 cents. For the fourth quarter, Dell had been expected to earn 28 cents a share, up from the year ago 15 cents.