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Dell’s 1Q earnings fall 79 pct as PC sales sag

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Dell’s first-quarter earnings plunged 79 percent as the shift to smartphones and tablets reduced demand for the company’s personal computers.

The dismal performance announced Thursday actually might work to Dell Inc.’s advantage. That’s because Dell’s board is trying to persuade shareholders to accept a $24.4 billion buyout offer from CEO Michael Dell and other investors.

Some shareholders say the sales price of $13.65 per share is too low, but Dell’s board contends it’s a good deal in light of challenges facing the Round Rock, Texas, company.

The company earned $130 million, or 7 cents per share, in the three months ending May 3. That compares with $635 million, or 36 cents per share, at the same time last year.

Revenue dipped 2 percent to $14.1 billion.