Dell 1Q Disappoints, But Points To Successful Move From PC To Enterprise Focus


Tom Sweet, vice president and corporate controller for Dell, broke his company's results down on a segment-by-segment basis.

The enterprise solutions business, which includes Dell's server, storage, networking and enterprise peripherals, saw revenue rise 10 percent year-over-year to $3.1 billion, driven by a strong server and networking business and tempered by weak storage sales, Sweet said.

The servers, networking and peripherals part of the business saw revenue rise 14 percent over last year, driving in strong measure by Dell's hyperscale server business where the company counts four out five of the top search companies and 75 percent of top social media companies as customers, Sweet said.

Gladden said Dell's server business, which enjoyed its ninth consecutive quarter of growth, was also helped by last year's introduction of Dell's 12th-generation (12G) server line, which helped bring up product margin.

"So the server business is in a good spot," he said. "We feel good about the technology. This is not a place where we are trading pricing for market share."

Storage revenue, however, fell 10 percent over last year to $424 million, a trend Sweet said Dell knows needs improvement.

Gladden said part of the problem is that the entire storage market is shrinking.

The storage market is actually growing, albeit very slowly, according to analyst firm IDC, which in March said fourth quarter 2013 total storage revenue grew a mere 0.7 percent year-to-year. Storage-focused vendors EMC and NetApp saw growth, while systems vendors including Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard saw their storage revenue fall, IDC said.

Even so, Gladden said, Dell is confident in its storage portfolio and strategy as a whole. "We feel we're in position to out-perform the market," he said.

Dell's services business revenue rose 2 percent over last year to hit $2.1 billion, Sweet said. That includes a 2 percent rise in support and deployment services to $1.2 billion; an 11 percent rise in infrastructure, cloud and security services revenue to $612 million; and a 15 percent fall in application and BPO services to $295 million, he said.

However, Sweet said, the full impact of Dell's $2 billion-plus acquisition last year of Quest Software had yet to kick in.

"We remain confident the Quest acquisition will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings in Q1 of fiscal year [20]15," he said.

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