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An internal investigation into Dell’s accounts has uncovered “evidence of misconduct” and accounting errors, the struggling computer maker said on Thursday night.

The news, which prompted a brief fall of more than 5 per cent in the company’s shares in after-hours trading, marked the first mention of wrongdoing since news of Dell’s accounting problems surfaced last year.

In August, Dell revealed that US authorities were looking into “revenue recognition and other accounting and financial reporting matters” at the company.

Dell on Thursday indicated that its internal probe into the matter was winding down, but revealed nothing about the nature or extent of the errors.

It said it was working with its auditors to determine whether any restatements would be necessary.

“As we move toward the conclusion of our investigation, we are committing the time and resources required to ensure a thorough and comprehensive review and resolution of all identified issues and the implementation of appropriate remedial measures,” said Thomas Luce, chair of Dell’s audit committee, in a prepared statement on Thursday.

Dell declined to comment on the nature of the accounting errors or the misconduct that its investigation had found.

Dell’s shares fell as much as 5.6 per cent in after-hours trading after the announcement, underscoring investor concern over potential “deficiencies” in its financial controls.

The shares later recovered to trade down 2.3 per cent at $22.80.

Dell said it would delay filing its annual report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission because its internal investigation had not been completed. It had been scheduled to file its annual report on April 18. Federal investigations into the matter are ongoing.

Dell said it was working with its independent auditors to “determine whether the accounting errors necessitate any restatements of prior-period financial statements, and to assess whether the control deficiencies constitute a material weakness in Dell’s internal control over financial reporting”.

Dell’s stock price has fallen precipitously since 2005 as the company has struggled to regain its footing in the PC market after several quarters of mistakes.

They have drifted in the weeks since Michael Dell, Dell’s co-founder, returned as chief executive, replacing Kevin Rollins.

The company has declined to say whether Mr Rollins’s departure was related to the accounting problems.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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