As Dell prepares to release its earnings Thursday, there's a strange thing happening around this company: Could this company be showing new signs of life even as competition in every one of the markets it serves begins to heat up?
The short answer is yes.
Dell is caught up in what could become a groundswell of tech spending, and after years of so many missteps that threatened its very future, the company seems positioned well to take advantage of all this growth. Everything from PCs to servers, even healthcare thanks to its recent acquisition of Perot Systems, and smart phones.
For the company's fiscal third quarter, analysts expect 28 cents on $13.2 billion. On a product and division basis, it should break out this way: $3.19 billion in desktops; $4.1 billion in mobility; $1.43 billion in servers/networking; $564 million in storage; $1.26 billion in services; and $2.43 billion in software/peripherals. Non-GAAP gross margin should be 18.2 percent; and operating margin should be around 5.5 percent.
Key things to listen for on the conference call: any commentary on Dell's wireless plans. At CTIA in San Diego several weeks ago, I interviewed AT&T's Ralph de la Vega who confirmed to me that his company would be supporting Google's mobile Android operating system. Then, a few minutes later, the Wall Street Journal reported that Dell was preparing for the US release of its Android-powered smart phone on the AT&T network. Still no release date on that product, but it looks like Dell is moving ahead with plans in China, Brazil and soon the US for this device. No question it's a crowded field, and Dell is quite a Johnny-come-lately to the party, but you don't get until you try, and Dell's gonna try.