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Dell (DELL) 4Q Earnings Drop 31 Percent, Yet Beat Estimates

 February 19, 2013 04:25 PM

(By Balaseshan) PC maker Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL), which has agreed to be taken private in a $24.4 billion deal, reported a 31 percent drop in quarterly earnings due to lower revenue across its units and regions. Results exceeded market expectations.

On a non-GAAP basis, earnings per share declined 22 percent to 40 cents, yet exceeded market expectations by a penny. GAAP earnings dropped 31 percent to $530 million.

Revenue decreased 11 percent to $14.31 billion, beating consensus estimate of $14.12 billion. Region wise, Asia-Pacific and Japan revenue fell 9 percent. EMEA revenue dropped 14 percent, and Americas was down 10 percent.

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In the preceding third quarter, Dell's earnings dropped 47 percent to $475 million on an 11 percent revenue decline to $13.72 billion.

Dell has been losing business to rival HP (HPQ) and Lenovo due to weak global PC shipments. Global PC shipments fell nearly 5 percent in the final three months of 2012 to 90.3 million units, indicating likely structural changes to the market rather than weak demand, according to market research firm Gartner.

Gross margin increased to 22.8 percent from 21.7 percent on a non-GAAP basis for the fourth quarter.

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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Dell's Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell and Silver Lake, will acquire the PC maker for roughly $24.4 billion or $13.65 per share in cash. On February 11, Dell said it has considered an array of strategic alternatives to look for a superior offer before opting to go private.

Large shareholders such as T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) and Southeastern Asset Management, who together own more than 10 percent of the stock, have decided to vote against the deal. Pzena Investment Management, who has about 1 percent stake, also gave a thumbs down to the offer.

The stock, which has been trading in a 52-week range between $8.69 and $18.36, ended Tuesday's regular session down 0.07 percent at $13.80.

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