Risk & Compliance

Dell Faces Formal SEC Probe

Backdating is not the focus of the investigation, according to Dell.
Stephen TaubNovember 16, 2006

Dell said the Securities and Exchange Commission’s informal probe into certain accounting and financial reporting matters has been turned into a formal investigation. The computer maker did not elaborate and did not identify the accounting matter.

However, Dell spokesman Jess Blackburn told CFO.com in an e-mail message that the probe does not involve issues related to stock option granting practices. Whatever the case, the company said it will not report its third-quarter results until the end of this month. It had initially scheduled to make its results announcement on Thursday. Furthermore, when the company does announce earnings it will be in the form of a press release only.

Although the company reported second-quarter results in August, it still has not filed its quarterly Form 10-Q with the SEC. Dell stressed it continues to cooperate with the SEC, and is committed to resolving all issues in connection with the investigation and regaining compliance with all SEC filing requirements as soon as possible. “The implication is that this (SEC) investigation is turning out to be more serious than what Dell anticipated and what the Street anticipated,” analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research told Reuters.