Dell reports fall in profits as takeover fight continues

Dell computer and hands Dell remains mired in a battle between its founder, Michael Dell, and investor Carl Icahn

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PC maker Dell - currently in the midst of a battle over its future - has reported a fall in profits.

Second quarter profits fell 72% to $204m (£130m), hurt by declining global PC sales.

"In a challenging environment, we remain committed to our strategy and our customers," said Brian Gladden, Dell chief financial officer.

The figures had originally been due to be released on 20 August, but Dell brought the release date forward.

The results come a day before a Delaware court is set to hear testimony from activist investor Carl Icahn.

Mr Icahn, along with Southeastern Asset Management, has opposed founder Michael Dell's efforts to take the company private with partner Silver Lake.

Mr Dell and Silver Lake's latest bid would value the company at $24.8bn, and would offer a one-time payment of 13 cents a share to shareholders.

Away from the spotlight

Amid declining PC sales and stalled efforts to revamp its core business, Mr Dell has argued that the company must be taken private to better evaluate its future away from the harsh glare of investors, who have fretted over the company's stock performance recently.

Mr Icahn, who has an 8.7% stake in the company, has said that Mr Dell's offer significantly undervalues the company.

A proposed vote on 2 August regarding Mr Dell's offer was rescheduled to 12 September.

Mr Dell still owns 16% of the company he founded in 1984 whilst in college.

Second quarter earnings for computer companies have been disappointing across the board, with Microsoft, Intel and IBM reporting lower than expected earnings amidst the worst market for PC sales in more than seven years.

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