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The Lights Flicker at Dell
Dell’s earnings were down 48% to $351 million, 18 cents a share, on revenues down 16% to $13.4 billion
By: Maureen O'Gara
Feb. 28, 2009 08:00 AM
Dell’s earnings were down 48% to $351 million, 18 cents a share, on revenues down 16% to $13.4 billion and units down 12% in the January quarter, three of the single worst months since PCs were invented. Dell’s gross margin dropped from 18.7% to 17.2%.
Needless to say it did not meet expectations. Wall Street, which oughta get out of the house once in a while, has yet to bring any of its expectations in line with reality; the consensus on Dell was for 26 cents on $14.2 billion.
HP’s earnings came in 13% short last week.
Dell said it’s raising the $3 billion cost cutback target that it established last March to $4 billion by FY ’11 because deferred spending has increased and spread worldwide.
It offered no guidance going forward and only said that it believes global end-user demand will continue to be “uncertain and challenging.”
It added little color about where it’s going to get that added billion-dollar cost savings – only that it had various scenarios ranging from better to worse depending on the demand environment and that it’s thinking both cost of goods sold and OPEX as well as G&A. It has hopes for Windows 7 and is evidently casting its eye over non-hardware revenue sources.
Stanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who took his sales estimates down to $13.3 billion before Dell posted its results, suggested during the conference call that it would have to cut another 12%-15% of its workforce, but Dell CEO Michael Dell and CFO Brian Gladden wouldn’t address that projection. Dell is supposed to have cut 9,400 jobs, down 11% year-over-year.
Dell said its Americas commercial business dropped 17% to $6 billion on a 23% drop in units. The results pushed its 12-month revenues down 5% to $28.6 billion.
EMEA commercial was down the same 17% to $3 billion with shipments down 19%. Full-year revenues were flat at $13.6 billion.
Asia-Pacific commercial business dropped 24% to $1.4 billion, with units down 19%.
Dell’s revenue from the BRIC countries was down 17% on a 19% drop in shipments. China revenues dropped, India represented single-digit growth. BRIC now represents upwards of 7% of its total revenues.
The commercial sector now represents 81% of Dell’s revenue and 96% of its operating income.
Dell’s global consumer revenues were down 7% to $3 billion although shipments increased 18%; consumers are buying lower-priced notebooks and desktops. Full-year revenues were up 11% to $11.5 billion; Dell can thank its lucky stars it started getting into retail channels.
Revenue from desktop PCs dropped 27%, notebooks dropped 17%. Server revenue was down 16% on an 18% drop in units. Storage revenue was up 7%. Services revenue was down 3% to $1.4 billion with deferred revenues up 7% to $5.6 billion. Software and peripheral were down 6%, despite double-digit growth in software sales.
Dell has ~$9.5 billion in cash and investments.
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