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ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) -- Dell's earnings plunged 72 percent during its fiscal second quarter as the slumping personal computer maker struggled to cope with technological upheaval and shareholder unrest.

The disheartening results announced Thursday could help Dell Inc.'s board persuade more of the company's stockholders that they're better off accepting a buyout offer from a group led by CEO Michael Dell rather than risk further financial deterioration in the months ahead.

Shareholders are scheduled to vote on Michael Dell's $24.8 billion bid on Sept. 12. The proposal faces fierce resistance from two major Dell stockholders, billionaire Carl Icahn and investment fund Southeastern Asset Management.

Dell earned $204 million, or 12 cents per share, in the quarter, down from $732 million, or 42 cents per share, last year.

Revenue remained level at $14.5 billion.

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