Chasing Michael Dell

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Reuters is wondering whether Michael Dell will get caught up in the investigation of Dell’s (DELL) accounting practices. Accountants at the company adjusted numbers to meet financial goals, according to an internal audit. The SEC and US attorney still need to take a swing that the pinata, and Mr. Dell is likely to be questioned.

The idea that Dell know about the goings on at DELL, at least at the granular accounting level, are probably remote. Wall St. would have to ask why he would return as CEO of the company if he believed that he had any risk of being exposed in the investigation.

Dell will not be pushed out of DELL when the probe is done.

The company’s shareholders have bigger problems. DELL stock is nearly flat this year. Most studies of the global PC industry show DELL losing market share. The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index showed a drop of over 5% for DELL compared to last year. The survey also put the PC maker behind rivals Apple (AAPL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).

If the situation at DELL does not improve, Michael Dell might be leaving. But, it will not be because of an accounting probe.

Douglas A. McIntyre