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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dell's Big Upgrade (DELL)(HPQ)

Dell's stock was upgraded yesterday. It was a damn poor ungrade at that. UBS moved the stock from "reduce" to "neutral". But, for desperate Dell shareholders, even the smalles bone is better than starving. With a new price target of $25 from the investment bank, up from $20, the stock rose over 4% to $24.32. It is always nice to hit that new target the first day.

Dell is still in trouble. Its share price was over $41 in July 2005.

In the third quarter of 2006, Gartner figures show that Hewlett-Packard passed Dell in worldwide PC shipments. HP's share grew from 16.1% to 17.2%. Dell's share fell from 17.9% to 17.2%. The next three companies is worldwide PC shipments, Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba, all showed market share improvement over the period.

Dell, beset by poor customer service and an a resurgent HP has still showed no signs that it can become the company that it was when its shares rose from $1.50 in mid-1996 to $42 in 2005.

For Dell, the past may not be prologue.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own shares in companies that he writes about.

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