Dell's 1st Quarter Profits Worse Than Anticipated

A 79 percent drop in earnings — That's what the computer maker reported to investors Thursday. The reason, analysts say, it's harder to sell PCs these days with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with trouble at Dell.

You might recall their old slogan - easy as Dell. Now investors might be wondering - what the Dell? The company's first quarter profit was much worse than predicted - a 79 percent drop in earnings. That's what the computer maker reported to investors yesterday. Analysts say the reason is that it's harder to sell PCs with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets.

This poor performance comes as Michael Dell, the founder, tries to take the company private, a move some heavyweight investors are fighting.

Dell has offered $24.4 billion for the company. Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management - another big investor - say that price is too low and they're proposing new leadership.

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