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Earnings Preview: Dell shares just above takeover price ahead of Q4 report

Dell (DELL) is set to report Q4 earnings after the market close on Tuesday, February 19, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Dell is a global IT company that operates enterprise, business, and consumer segments... EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of 39c on revenue of $14.12B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 36c-42c on revenue of $13.82B-$14.35B... LAST QUARTER: Dell reported Q3 EPS of 39c against estimates for 40c on revenue of $13.7B against estimates for $13.9B. On January 14, a Bloomberg report said that Dell was in talks to go private, sending shares sharply higher and dominating the news cycle over the intervening weeks. On February 5, Dell officially announced that it was being taken over for $13.65 per share by a consortium lead by Silver Lake, and the company said it expects the deal to close by the end of Q2. Founder and CEO Michael Dell contributed his 14% stake in the company, as well as a cash investment, while Microsoft (MSFT) loaned $2B as part of the transaction. On February 8, Southeastern Asset Management reported an 8.5% stake in the company saying it intends to vote against the deal, adding that the $13.65 per share offer "grossly undervalues" the company. A Wall Street Journal report on February 13 said that T. Rowe Price (TROW), which holds a 4.4% stake in Dell, intends to vote against the go-private offer at $13.65 per share... STREET RESEARCH: Street research on Dell has been mixed, with a number of firms downgrading shares of Dell following the announced go-private offer. On February 14, Dell shares were downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital, and to Market Perform from Strong Buy at Raymond James, as Raymond James said it does not believe the ultimate price for Dell's go-private deal exceeds $15 per share. In a note earlier today, Sterne Agee said the amount of debt financing involved in the takeover of Dell limits the ability for the offer price to increase, while Maxim released a note that said the objections from large shareholders will cause the deal to close at a price marginally higher than the announced $13.65 per share... PRICE ACTION: Shares of Dell have gained more than 44% since the first day of trading following its Q3 report. Since the first reports of Dell's talks to go private, shares have gained more than $2.90, or more than 26.8%. Shares of Dell are nearly unchanged near $13.80 in early afternoon trading ahead of the company's Q4 report.