Dell makes difficult disclosure, delays annual report

Dell, embroiled in an internal review of its accounting practices, has revealed that there will be no quick and happy resolution to the conflict. The prominent PC hardware manufacturer has indicated that it will be forced to postpone filing its annual report until at least late April. Its original deadline was next week to report its activities through the close of its fiscal year in early February.

In announcing the delay, Dell briefly outlined the findings of its internal auditing efforts. "The Audit Committee's investigation has identified a number of accounting errors, evidence of misconduct, and deficiencies in the financial control environment," the company said in an official statement. "The Audit Committee is working with management and the company's independent auditors to determine whether the accounting errors necessitate any restatements of prior period financial statements, and to assess whether the control deficiencies constitute a material weakness in Dell's internal control over financial reporting."

Dell has not yet come forward with additional details disclosing the nature, extent, or perpetrators of the accounting irregularities. The company came under fire for its accounting practices two months ago when its own shareholders filed suit against the company for an alleged ">"secret rebate" arrangement with Dell. The lawsuit charges Dell with illegally funneling money from Intel into its accounts without disclosing the payments as part of its public financial records.

The news did not noticeably rattle Dell investors over the course of the day. After opening trading significantly below yesterday's close, the stock wavered to close at $23.21, just 0.77% down from Thursday.