Arik Hesseldahl

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On Its Way to Going Private, Dell Beats Street’s Expectations

DellatCESIn what may — or may not — turn out to be its final earnings report as a publicly held company, computing giant Dell just reported profits that beat the expectations of analysts.

Dell reported earnings of 40 cents per share on sales of $14.3 billion, better than the consensus view of 39 cents a share on sales of $14.12 billion. Dell shares rose by 4 cents, or about 0.3 percent, to $13.85 after hours as the news crossed the wires.

Dell, you’ll remember, is still in the process of trying to transform itself from the PC-heavy company you remember from the funny TV ads into a more enterprise-focused company emphasizing servers, software and services. The main trouble Dell has had is that it hasn’t been able to make the enterprise-focused business grow fast enough — at least not yet — to offset the dwindling sales of the PC segment.

Since that hasn’t worked out so well yet, Dell has decided to pursue a leveraged buyout and go private. Expect a lot of questions from analysts about that, and precious few answers from Dell

I’ll have a little more in a few minutes after I’ve taken a closer look at the press release, but for now here it is:

ROUND ROCK, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Dell announced fiscal 2013 fourth quarter and full-year results today, with revenue of $14.3 billion for the quarter and $56.9 billion for the year. Revenue from enterprise solutions and services grew 6 percent in the quarter to $5.2 billion and was $19.4 billion, or 34 percent of Dell revenue for the fiscal year, a 4 percent gain over fiscal year 2012.
“We continued to execute our long-term strategy in Q4, and realized a 6 percent increase in our enterprise solutions and services business,” said Brian Gladden, Dell CFO. “We also continued to generate strong cash flow from operations of $1.4 billion in the quarter. Our strong balance sheet and cash position enabled the company to invest almost $5 billion in new capabilities and intellectual property this fiscal year, including great assets like Quest, SonicWall, Wyse and AppAssure.”
Results
Revenue in the quarter was $14.3 billion, an 11 percent decrease from the previous year, and a 4 percent increase sequentially. Revenue for the 2013 fiscal year was $56.9 billion, an 8 percent decrease. Dell’s fiscal year 2012 had an extra week, which was incorporated into the company’s Q4 results.
GAAP operating income for the quarter was $698 million, or 4.9 percent of revenue. Non-GAAP operating income was $954 million, or 6.7 percent of revenue. Gross margins for the quarter benefitted by approximately $250 million, primarily resulting from vendor settlements. For the fiscal year, GAAP operating income was $3 billion and non-GAAP operating income was $4 billion.
GAAP earnings per share in the quarter was 30 cents, down 30 percent from the previous year; non-GAAP EPS was 40 cents, down 22 percent. For the fiscal year, GAAP EPS was $1.35, down 28 percent year over year and non-GAAP EPS was $1.72, down 19 percent.
Cash flow from operations in the quarter was $1.4 billion, and Dell ended Q4 with $15.3 billion in cash and investments. Full-year cash flow from operations was $3.3 billion.

dellq42013

Products and Solutions:
Dell server revenue increased 5 percent driven by strong growth in the company’s hyper-scale data center solutions business and migration to the company’s 12th-generation servers. The 12G-server line now represents almost 80 percent of Dell PowerEdge server revenue at average selling prices and margins that are a premium over previous-generation servers.
Dell networking continued to deliver strong growth, with a 42 percent revenue increase, including more than 100 percent growth in the company’s Force10 business.
Dell Quest software delivered revenue over the company’s stated target of $180-$200 million for the quarter. The company’s security software business also grew sequentially.
Dell desktop and mobility business revenue declined 20 percent and was up 3 percent sequentially.
Business Units and Regions:
Large Enterprise had revenue of $4.7 billion in the quarter, a 7 percent decrease. Operating income for the quarter was $393 million, a 16 percent decrease. Server and networking revenue increased 25 percent and ES&S business grew 10 percent. Revenue for the full year was $17.8 billion, down 5 percent from the previous year.
Public revenue was $3.5 billion, a 9 percent decrease. Operating income for the quarter was $236 million, a 25 percent decrease. Servers and networking revenue grew 11 percent. Revenue for the full year was $14.8 billion, down 8 percent from the previous year.
Small and Medium Business revenue was $3.4 billion, a 5 percent decrease. Operating income for the quarter was $385 million, a 4 percent decrease. SMB enterprise solutions and services sales increased 9 percent for the quarter, driven by servers and networking growth of 13 percent and services revenue growth of 17 percent. Revenue for the full year was $13.4 billion, down 1 percent from the previous year.
Consumer revenue was $2.8 billion, a 24 percent decline for the quarter. Operating income was $8 million, an 87 percent decrease. Revenue for the full year was $10.9 billion, down 20 percent from the previous year.
EMEA revenue decreased 14 percent in the quarter, Americas was down 10 percent, and Asia-Pacific and Japan declined 9 percent.
Company Outlook:
Given the company’s announcement Feb. 5 of a definitive merger agreement to take Dell private, the company is not providing an outlook for its fiscal 2014 or Q1.


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