updated 5/4/2006 1:37:38 PM ET 2006-05-04T17:37:38

Dell Inc. founder and chairman Michael Dell, responding to concerns about his company's recent stock declines, said Thursday he remains confident in the direct-sales model that helped create the world's largest PC maker.

"Let's kind of review the situation here," Dell said. "In the last 10 years our company has grown about 10 times and our stock is up a couple thousand percent."

Shares of the Round Rock, Texas-based company have sunk since a Citigroup analyst cut his rating on the stock to "Sell" last month amid concerns that Dell's gross margins could rapidly deteriorate if it slashes prices in order to gain market share.

Over the last year, the stock had traded between $25.10 and $41.99.

The stock price was raised by an audience member after Dell delivered a speech about digital access at the World Congress on Information Technology conference in Austin.

"In the last three years our business has grown from about $35 billion to last year, a little over $56 billion, and we believe we're going to continue to grow," Dell said. "We are growing all over the world. Our growth outside the U.S. has been considerably faster and we expect that to continue."

Dell said the company, which celebrated its 22nd birthday on Wednesday, is still the world's largest PC maker and remains poised for long-term growth.

"During the last 22 years, we have had a pretty remarkable track record of growth in our business," he said. "There's no kind of perfect, linear path to success. I do believe that what you'll see is that we have a great business model. We're focused on building a great company over a long period of time."

Dell posts its first quarter earnings on May 18.

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