Dell reports 23 percent plunge in profits, but voices optimism

Dell (DELL) reported that profits for the fiscal second quarter fell by 23 percent in another grim quarter. The PC and tech equipment company earned $472 million (24 cents per share) and posted revenues of $12.76 billion. In comparison, Dell earned $616 million (31 cents a share) on $16.4 billion in sales during the same period last year. The company suffered year-over-year sales declines across all of its product and market segments, an indication of the depth of the recession and the pall hanging over tech spending.

The numbers are slightly misleading as the loss includes a one-time charge of four cents per share for downsizing costs. Excluding those costs, Dell handily beat the analysts surveyed by FactSet, who had estimated that earnings for the period would be 22 cents per share, according to MarketWatch. And Dell did slightly eclipse revenue FactSet revenue estimates of $12.6 billion.