Upstart Vs. Wall Street

A high-flying computer outfit fights accusations that it cooked the books

DELL COMPUTER'S METEORIC RISE TO THE TOP ranks of the personal-computer industry has kept rivals wondering for some time how the manufacturer has managed to sustain its miraculous climb. Then a Wall Street analyst claimed he had the answer: the PC maker's ascent had less to do with miracles than with some sleight-of-hand accounting. In a blistering report to investors, David Korus of Kidder, Peabody charged that Dell accounted improperly for foreign- currency trades and suggested that currency speculation may have been used to inflate the company's profits. The report touched off a wave of nervous selling in Dell stock. It...

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