Dell has been losing PC market share to HP and aggressive Asian competitors like Lenovo and Acer. Over the last two years, Dell's shares are down well over 40 percent, while HP's are off only 5 percent, and IBM's are 10 percent higher. Part of the reason Dell has sold off is that it has been considered slow in improving customer service, introducing new machines and moving into the business of selling its products through retail outlets.
Dell had almost $12 billion of cash on hand at the end of last quarter. But having money and spending it well are not the same thing. It will take the clear success of the Perot deal and any other transactions to get Dell back into Wall Street's good graces.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.