Dell beats Wall Street estimates

The company's fourth-quarter results top estimates as its enterprise business holds up with slight declines. The consumer business takes a big hit.

The Dell XPS 13 ultrabook Dell
Dell's fourth-quarter results were carried by enterprise gear such as servers and networking, but the consumer business tanked.

The company, which recently announced plans to go private in a leveraged buyout, reported earnings of $530 million, or 30 cents a share, on revenue of $14.31 billion, down 11 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings in the fourth quarter were 40 cents a share.

Wall Street was expecting fourth-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $14.12 billion.

For fiscal 2013, Dell reported earnings of $2.37 billion, or $1.35 a share, on revenue of $56.94 billion, down 8 percent from a year ago.

In a statement, Dell Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said that software acquisitions, notably Quest, fueled better-than-expected revenue.

Dell declined to provide an outlook for the first quarter or fiscal 2014.

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By unit, Dell reported the following:

  • Large enterprise delivered operating income of $393 million in the fourth quarter on revenue of $4.7 billion, down 7 percent from a year ago. Server revenue was up 25 percent due to hyperscale servers.
  • Public sector revenue was $3.5 billion, down 9 percent from a year ago. Operating income in the fourth quarter fell 25 percent from a year ago to $236 million.
  • SMB sales were $3.4 billion, down 5 percent from the fourth quarter a year ago. Operating income was $385 million.
  • Consumer revenue tanked in the fourth quarter to $2.8 billion, down 24 percent from a year ago. Dell's operating income was $8 million.

The story originally appeared at ZDNet under the headline "Dell's Q4 better than expected as enterprise holds up, consumer tanks."

About the author

    Larry Dignan is editor in chief of ZDNet and editorial director of CNET's TechRepublic. He has covered the technology and financial-services industries since 1995.

     

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