What the H… Heck Is Going On At Dell Inc. (DELL)? – Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Who would have thought that Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) – of all places – could generate so much interest at this point? Somehow or other, the computer maker is all over the news, in all ways, all the time. Whether it’s a failed attempt to go private, the potential for long-time CEO, Michael Dell, to be forced out in the subsequent mess and even the fact that there might be a bidding war for the company, Dell has generated a LOT of headlines lately.

Which is weird to me. Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) – to me, at least – seems to be sort of a 90s company. Yeah, that’s not really the case. But Dell generating a lot of interest seems to belong in the past. That’s not really fair, of course. Dell is still a huge company with a market cap in the tens of billions of dollars. They continue to provide technology solutions both large and small. It’s just that the company’s public profile isn’t as huge as it once was.

Still, if it stays public and goes through a buyout, is Dell a good investment? I think that, in general, it is and the public perception can be ignored. However, the company faces real pressures in staying relevant going forward that have to be considered. That and an operating margin that was only 4.88% in 2012 makes it less attractive than it might otherwise be.

The complicating factors:

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)

I’ve been hot and cold on Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) in the past, because I’m just not sure the company itself knows where it’s going. Rockstar CEO Meg Whitman has one heck of a job in front of her turning that ship. Still, after an operating margin of -9.19% for all of 2012 showing a first quarter 2013 return of 6.18% is driving the share price up. Quite a bit, honestly…shares are outperforming the S&P500 by quite a bit and have grown 96.75% since last November. If you have faith that Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has turned the corner the time to buy is now, while it’s still cheap enough to get a good amount.