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Ahead of the Bell: Dell steady after 2Q report

The Associated Press

Shares of Dell Inc. were steady Friday morning, a day after the PC maker's shrinking second-quarter profit showed the decline of its personal computer business.

Dell has struggled as the surging popularity of smartphones and tablets has chipped away at its mainstay PC business. The operating profit in that division shrank 71 percent in the quarter that ended Aug. 2.

That could help persuade Dell Inc. shareholders to accept a buyout offer from CEO Michael Dell, who wants to take the company he founded private in order to put it through what will likely be a painful realignment.

Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners are offering to pay $13.75 per share plus a special dividend of 13 cents per share to buyout the company's other stockholders. But major Dell shareholders Carl Icahn and the investment fund Southeastern Asset Management have aggressively fought that offer.

A vote on Michael Dell's $24.8 billion bid has been scheduled for Sept. 12.

Overall, the Round Rock, Texas, company's net income dropped 72 percent to $732 million, or 42 cents per share, in the second quarter. It posted profit of 25 cents per share when excluding one-time items, and that topped analyst expectations by a penny. Revenue remained level at $14.5 billion.

On a brighter note, Dell's enterprise solutions business continues to be an area of strength, Brean Capital analyst Ananda Baruah wrote to clients.

Dell shares edged up 3 cents to $13.73 Friday in premarket trading.