Dell Blames Revenue Shortfall on Europe and Small-Business Demand - TheStreet

Updated from 4:32 p.m. ET

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

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.