Dell fourth quarter propelled by large enterprise, SMBs

Summary:Dell's quarter highlighted strong enterprise and SMB demand. The company also saw strong revenue growth for storage and server and networking.

Dell delivered strong fourth quarter results amid strong enterprise and SMB demand.

The company reported fourth quarter earnings of $927 million, or 48 cents a share, on revenue of $15.7 billion. Non-GAAP earnings were 53 cents a share, well ahead of the 37 cents a share Wall Street expected.

For fiscal 2011, Dell reported earnings of $2.63 billion, or $1.35 a share, on revenue of $61.5 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago (also see preview).

Dell CEO Michael Dell said in a statement that was pleased with the performance the company is seeing from its commercial business. For fiscal 2012, Dell projected revenue growth of 5 percent to 9 percent and non-GAAP operating income growth of 6 percent to 12 percent. In the first quarter, Dell projected the usual seasonal decline and "a slight sequential decline in revenue."

Indeed, large enterprise sales carried the fourth quarter. Large enterprise sales were $4.7 billion, up 12 percent from a year ago. Operating income was $502 million. Of note: PC revenue grew 20 percent from a year ago amid a strong upgrade cycle.

By the numbers:

  • Gross margins were 21.5 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 17.4 percent a year ago.
  • Public revenue was $4 billion, up 4 percent from a year ago. Operating income was $366 million. Server and storage sales drove the public sector results.
  • Dell showed strength in small and medium sized businesses with revenue of $3.7 billion, up 12 percent from a year ago. Server and storage revenue dominated and the SMB unit delivered fourth quarter operating income of $450 million.

  • Consumer sales for the fourth quarter were $3.3 billion, down 8 percent from a year ago.
  • The company delivered Asia-Pacific and Japan revenue growth of 17 percent. North America and Europe Middle East Africa showed revenue growth of 3 percent.
  • And the breakdown of Dell services:

Dell said the company's strategy for the upcoming fiscal year will revolve around growing services, leveraging its supply chain and bolstering the bottom line financial profile.

Topics: Dell, Banking, Enterprise Software


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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