Dell On Deck: Investors Expecting Growth

Investors will be closely monitoring Dell's first-quarter results for expected signs of growth.
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) --


(DELL) - Get Report

has been getting plenty of analyst love recently, and during the company's

first-quarter results later today

, investors will be anticipating signs of growth.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expect Dell to report first-quarter revenue of $14.27 billion and earnings of 27 cents a share, compared to $12.3 billion and 24 cents a share in the prior year's quarter.

Analyst firm

Brean Murray recently started coverage of Dell with a buy rating

, citing upside potential in an improving economy.

Goldman Sachs analyst David Bailey, in a note released earlier this week, wrote: "In hardware, together with HP, we view Dell as the biggest beneficiary of the corporate upgrade cycle."


not everyone, however, thinks that the company is attractive to investors


Despite the recent rebound in PC purchasing, for example,

there is a feeling that uncertainty in Europe and lingering unease in the U.S. economy could weigh on tech stocks such as Dell.

The big question is whether corporate America is at the start of a longer-term IT spending rebound or is briefly opening its wallet to plug glaring technology gaps left over from the recession.

With robust U.S. GDP growth, however, there is every indication that corporate America still has plenty of cash to spend. Dell,

which struggled with soft PC sales during the recession

, should also reap the benefits of improved consumer spending heading into the 2010 holiday season.

Dell is planning a slew of new products for later this year, including a smartphone and a scaled-down tablet device dubbed the Streak. While Dell is clearly

playing catch up to the likes of Apple (AAPL) - Get Report

in smartphones and tablets, the technologies could open up new revenue streams for the PC maker.

Dell CEO Michael Dell recently promised that

smartphones will never kill off PCs

, but he knows only too well that portable devices can play a key role in the company's future.

Dell shares dipped 57 cents, or 3.81%, to $14.41 on Thursday, mirroring the broader retreat in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq slump 3.13%.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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