Dell Profits Down 72 Percent As Uncertainty Bites

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Dell releases its second quarter financials early and it makes for grim reading for investors

Dell has once again posted its financial results early, as the company faces continuing pressure from both the markets and its shareholders.

It had moved up its scheduled quarterly earnings disclosure five days to 15 August instead of 20 August, and it revealed a sharp drop in profit as well as flat year-over-year revenues.

Grim Reading

And in another development, the Round Rock, Texas-based computer hardware, software and services provider offered no insight to its progress, as it cancelled its regular conference call for analysts and journalists, choosing instead to post a press release on its Website.

Dell logoIn the background, founder Michael Dell and financial backer Silver Lake Partners are offering to buy back the company from shareholders for $13.75 (£8.80) per share, with another 13 cents (£0.08) per share kicking in when the deal is closed, adding another $350 million (£224m) to the $24.4 billion (£15.6bn) that was initially proposed. A substantial number of shareholders, including billionaire investor Carl Icahn, are fighting Dell to keep the company public.

“Given the company’s announcement on 5 February of a definitive merger agreement to take Dell private, the company is not providing an outlook,” the company said in the earnings press release.

Dell reported revenue of $14.5 billion (£9.3bn), slightly better than a year ago. And Dell is still profitable, after it posted a net income of $204m (£130m), but this was down a staggering 72 percent from a net profit of $732m (£468m) in the same year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $272 million (£174m). That, too, was down substantially (70 percent) from the $901 million (£576m) reported in Q2 2012.

Cash flow from operations in the quarter was $1.7 billion (£1.1bn). Dell ended the quarter with $13.9 billion (£8.9bn) in cash and investments.

Divisional Performance

Division-wise, the best news came from the company’s Enterprise Solutions, Services and Software group, whose revenue totalled $5.8 billion (£3.7bn) and grew 9 percent year over year.

The numbers include sales from the 2012 acquisition of California-based software tools company Quest Software, which since has been rebranded to Dell Software.

Dell’s End User Computing reported that its revenue was down 5 percent year over year.

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