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Dell’s Revenues & Earnings Down Again

Revenues dropped 11% year-over-year to $14.3 billion against analyst diminished predictions of $14.1 billion

In what will be one of its last quarterly reports as a public company – if shareholders can be persuaded to accept the $24.4 billion deal on offer to take the PC maker private – Dell’s fiscal Q4 sales and earnings topped Wall Street estimates.

That’s the kindest way of looking of its flailing situation.

Revenues dropped 11% year-over-year to $14.3 billion against analyst diminished predictions of $14.1 billion but were up 4.3% sequentially from $13.72 billion.

Earnings were down 31% at $530 million or 40 cents a share versus estimates of 39 cents.

Desktop PCs declined 14% and mobile revenues, including laptops, plunged 25%, a victim of smartphones and tablets.

Gartner estimates that global PC shipments dropped in Q4. Dell’s dropped 21%.

Server and networking sales were up 18% in the quarter to $2.62 billion. Because of the modest strength in the company’s enterprise segment, there’s talk Michael Dell may be making some progress turning the joint into a more high-margin IBM-like IT provider.

However, software was down 11% and services off 3.1%. The government sector was down 9.4%, large enterprises declined 6.6% and SMBs were off 4.6%. The consumer sector dropped 24%.

Dell is hoping for “significant” IT spending in the next year or so because of corporations upgrading Windows.

EMEA revenue decreased 14% in the quarter, the Americas were down 10%, and Asia-Pacific and Japan declined 9%.

Gross margin was tickled to 21.7%, up from 21.1% last year.

Michael and private equity house Silver Lake Management LLC are offering $13.65 a share and have met resistance from Dell’s largest stockholders over the price. Speculators have bid the stock up over the offer price to $13.84 in expectation of a sweetener.

The company refused to discuss the potential LBO and offered no guidance for the future. As author of the overshadowing buy-out, Michael was a no- show on the conference call Tuesday.

Dell ended the quarter with $15.3 billion in the bank, a stash that will be used to consummate the LBO.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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