In my last few updates on Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) I have been advising investors to stay away from the stock. Dell is facing a number of different headwinds which make it a highly risky investment. In the last few months, a number of suitors have emerged that want to take the company private. The original bid was made by Michael Dell and Silver Lake but since than many new players have emerged who claim they can do better than even $14 per share. Blackstone Group and Carl Icahn seem to be the two most active challengers to the Silver Lake and Michael Dell partnership. According to recent updates Blackstone has pulled out of the deal, which has triggered a 5% slide in shares. I believe Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is an excellent short opportunity at these price levels due to minimum upside and huge downside potential.
While Dell is engaged in deciding the perfect fit for taking itself private, the PC industry continues to go down. According to reports there was a 14% decline in PC shipments during the quarter with both Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and Dell reporting falling shipments. Dell has also given a poorer forecast for the year with operating income falling from $3.7 billion to $3 billion in the current fiscal year, a decline of approximately 19%.
During the first quarter of 2013 both HP and Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) witnessed a significant decline in PC shipments. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) saw the steepest decline with a y/y shipment decline of approximately 23%. The company is barely holding on to the top spot in the PC industry with Lenovo breathing down its neck. The decline in Dell sales was less steep at 10% global and 14% in the United States.
Analysts are expecting the PC segment to continue its decline throughout 2013. The only ray of hope on the horizon is the new Haswell platform being introduced by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). A major drawback of PC is the small battery life as compared to tablets. These Haswell chips are 20 times more power efficient as compared to current designs, and Intel is promising the industry 13 hour battery life.
Haswell is being developed by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s Oregon team and is expected to hit store shelves by June. The rising popularity of the handheld devices is pushing OEMs to come up with a compromise between tablets and notebooks. The ultimate device that gives consumers an experience of both tablets and PCs is the Ultrabook. A number of new Ultrabooks have hit store shelves this year with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Surface one of the most talked products. Haswell will give products from Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and Microsoft to compete with tablets on battery life, which is a primary consumer ‘buy criteria’.