Business

Dell sales forecast misses estimates

SAN FRANCISCO — Dell Inc. forecast a fourth straight quarter of declining sales as diminishing demand for PCs overshadows efforts to diversify into making more profitable products for data-storage centers.

Quarterly revenue will be $14 billion to $14.4 billion, the company said — less than the $14.5 billion average estimate of analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A year ago, revenue was $16 billion.

Dell, the number three maker of personal computers, is struggling amid a deep slump in demand as companies wait to upgrade machines and consumers turn to smartphones and tablets.

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Even as Dell works to mitigate the decline by adding storage, networking gear, software, and services through acquisitions, the company still gets half its sales from PCs.

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‘‘They’ve been talking about changing the last five years,’’ said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc.

‘‘They’re in a very tough position, plain and simple.’’

Dell stock has dropped 35 percent this year.