Dell Slumps on Earnings Miss (Update 1)
Dell reported earnings of 51 cents per share on $16.01 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Dell to report earnings of 52 cents per share on $15.96 billion in revenue. Dell ended the fourth-quarter with $18.2 billion in cash on its balance sheet, having spent $2.7 billion to buyback its own stock, $561 million during the fourth-quarter.
Dell provided 2012 earnings guidance, saying it expects earnings per share to be above $2.13. The company also expects first-quarter revenue to decline 7% year-over-year to approximately $14.9 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Dell to report revenue of $15.17 billion and earnings of 47 cents per share.
Dell has come under scrutiny recently as it tries to remake itself from being primarily a PC-vendor, and move into higher-margin businesses, like Enterprise Storage and Servers, as well as cloud computing.
On the company conference call, CFO Brian Gladden said the company is still seeing some issues with hard drive disk (HDD) spending, but this will not be as impactful as during the fourth quarter. The mix of drives during the fourth quarter impacted margins negatively, as did weaker federal spending. Dell expects the hard drive issues to remain challenging for the next two quarters, but to get better towards the end of the year.
CEO and Chairman Michael Dell, however, said the tech giant has evolved far beyond PCs in a statement that accompanied the results. "Our customers think of Dell in much broader terms now, trusting us with their comprehensive IT needs, from the datacenter to the device," he said.
Shares of Dell closed the regular session up 0.5% to $18.21. Shares are moving lower in extended-hours, down 4.7% to $17.35. Shares have outperformed the broader market this year, up 24.5%, versus 13.2% for the Nasdaq.
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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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