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After Earnings Warning, Dell Execs Face Shareholders

Dell's top executives faced shareholders Friday morning, little more than an hour after announcing the company's current quarterly earnings would be significantly less than first thought.

During its annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Tex., which the company also webcast live and which lasted less than an hour, the executives faced tough comments from longtime stock owners who sounded less than happy at the PC maker's current financial straits.

"The stock has gone down more than 50 percent since last year's stock holder's meeting," said Linda Bush, a Dell shareholder who had proposed a measure for the company to provide dividends.

"What is wrong? An internal thing that's not working? Perhaps a general housecleaning should be in order like a rival competitor did in 2004," Bush said, referring to Hewlett-Packard. "Now their stock price is up 30 percent and they pay dividends of 32 cents."

Dell founder and Chairman Michael Dell, who stood at a podium whil Bush made her remarks, reminded the gathered shareholders that the company's board of directors opposed the dividend proposal. In voting, it was defeated with those holding 93 percent of voting shares turning thumb's down.

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