Dell Earnings Hit by Price Cuts on Computers

Dell logo
Dell logo

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) reported first-quarter fiscal 2014 results after markets closed today. The personal computer maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.21 on revenues of $14.1 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.43 on revenues of $14.42 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.35 and $13.52 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported quarterly diluted EPS of $0.07, compared with EPS of $0.36 in the year-ago quarter.

Operating income fell 73% and net income fell 79%. That's Dell's story for the first quarter. The company had to cut prices in order to sell products in a highly competitive and shrinking PC marketplace. That pushed revenues higher than expected, but margins fell to below 2% on a GAAP basis.

The company's CFO said:

[W]e have taken actions to improve our competitive position in key areas of the business, especially in end-user computing, and it has affected profitability. We'll also continue to make important investments to support our strategy and drive long-term profitability.

Dell did not provide an outlook for the second quarter, citing its definitive merger agreement to take the company private. The consensus analysts' estimates for the second quarter call for EPS of $0.38 on revenues of $13.94. That EPS estimate is sure to be lowered following today's report.

As we said in our preview of Dell's earnings, whatever the company reported would likely have little impact on investors' reaction. Only a huge upside report would have moved the stock much. The weak earnings report makes the standing offer from Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners look pretty good right now. Perhaps we'll get more details on the conference call later this afternoon.

Shares are trading flat in after-hours trading today after closing at $13.43 in a 52-week range of $8.69 to $15.31. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $14.20 before today's report.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, PC Companies Tagged: DELL, featured