Sharp Cost Reductions and Operational Execution Highlight Dell's Fiscal Fourth-Quarter Results

Q4 operating expenses down $363 million year-over-year / Cash flow from operations $729 million, nearly $2 billion for full year / Company raises fiscal 2011 cost-reduction goal from $3 billion to $4 billion

(PresseBox) (Round Rock, Texas, ) Dell today said it achieved solid operating results in the midst of a global downturn in IT spending, as it announced fiscal fourth-quarter results that included a 16-percent year-over-year reduction in operating expenses, along with solid cash flow from operations.

Revenue for the quarter ended Jan. 30 was $13.4 billion, a decline of 16 percent. Earnings per share were 18 cents, which includes previously announced pretax expenses of $277 million or 11 cents per share. The expenses consisted of $134 million in organizational effectiveness and $143 million related to stockbased compensation. Operating expenses were down $363 million from the same quarter a year ago and cash flow from operations for the quarter was $729 million.

Revenue for all of fiscal 2009 was $61.1 billion; full-year earnings were $1.25 per share.

Please find the chart of the fourth quarter results FY 2009 enclosed.

"Customers know they need information technology, and we think we're best able to help them use IT to improve productivity," said Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer. "But a lot of IT spending is being deferred until there's better economic visibility.

"Within our business, we're being very disciplined in managing costs, generating profitability and cash flow, and investing in ways that separate Dell from others today and when the economy inevitably improves."

Mr. Dell said that for the past 18 months, the company has been sharpening customer focus, redefining priorities, and speeding decisions and actions. It has also prioritized five growth initiatives - notebooks, enterprise technologies, consumers, small and medium businesses, and emerging countries - and achieved a number of successes in those areas, including:

- Producing its best-ever enterprise and mobility products, overall winning more than 420 product and design awards last year;
- Providing customers broader access to Dell technology through retail and commercial channl partners;
- Improving profitability in the consumer business; and,
- Growing faster than industry rates in the world's most rapidly expanding economies.

As announced on Dec. 31, the company is organizing into four, customer-centered global business units - Large Enterprise, Public, Small and Medium Business, and Consumer - to better meet customer and partner requirements through direct relationships, and to innovate without ties to costly, complex legacy technology.

The company's cost reductions along the way have been significant.

"We said last March that we would reduce costs by $3 billion annually by the end of fiscal 2011," said Brian Gladden, Dell's chief financial officer. "The cost actions we took this past year made us more competitive and delivered value to customers in a challenging economic environment.

"In fact, we now have a clear view to additional opportunities, and are raising our cost-reduction target to $4 billion."

Many of those actions have occurred since Dell first identified slowing IT-industry spending in the U.S. a year ago. Deferred spending has increased and spread worldwide, significantly affecting overall fourth quarter demand across all regions and customer segments.

Revenue for the quarter in Dell's Americas Commercial business was $6 billion, a 17-percent decline on a 23-percent decrease in units. Dell continued to be the No. 1 computer-systems provider in the Americas, where demand was down significantly among all customers, particularly small and medium businesses and largest corporate customers. For the full fiscal year, revenue was $28.6 billion, a 5-percent decline.

EMEA Commercial revenue was $3 billion for the quarter, a 17-percent decline. Product shipments for the quarter were down 19 percent as softness in demand spread to emerging countries. For the full fiscal-year 2009, revenue was $13.6 billion, essentially flat from the previous year.

Revenue for Dell's APJ Commercial business was $1.4 billion for the quarter, a 24-percent decline on a 19-percent decrease in shipments, as growth slowed in key countries including China and India. For the full year, revenue increased 2 percent to $7.3 billion.

Global Consumer achieved a shipment increase of 18 percent and increased global share to nearly 9 percent. With more consumers choosing lower-priced notebooks and desktops, revenue declined 7 percent to $3 billion. Full-year revenue increased 11 percent to $11.5 billion. The company continues to expand its retail reach worldwide and now has its growing range of products in more than 24,000 outlets.

Company Outlook

Dell believes that global IT end-user demand will continue to be uncertain and challenging. The company will maintain its focus on areas that it can control, especially those that benefit customers, including product quality, services and costs. Dell's new global organization aligns the company even more closely with different types of customers, to best understand and efficiently act on their needs. Dell will continue to manage its mix of products and services to optimize liquidity, profitability and growth. The company expects to absorb organizational effectiveness expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 at a similar level as in Q4, as Dell further streamlines its business to improve competitiveness.

Special Note:

Statements in this press release that relate to future results and events (including statements about our future financial and operating performance) are forward-looking statements based on Dell's current expectations. Actual results and events in future periods may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements because of a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, including: weakening global economic conditions and instability in financial markets; our ability to reestablish a cost advantage over our competitors; our ability to generate substantial non-U.S. net revenue; our ability to accurately predict product, customer and geographic sales mix and seasonal sales trends; information technology and manufacturing infrastructure failures and breaches in data security; our ability to effectively manage periodic product transitions; disruptions in component or product availability; our reliance on vendors for quality product components, including reliance on several single-source or limited-source suppliers; our ability to access the capital markets; risks relating to our internal controls; unfavorable results of legal proceedings; our acquisition of other companies; our ability to properly manage the distribution of our products and services; the success of our cost-cutting measures; effective hedging of our exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates; counterparty default risks; obtaining licenses to intellectual property developed by others on commercially reasonable and competitive terms; our ability to attract, retain and motivate key personnel; loss of government contracts; expiration of tax holidays or favorable tax rate structures; changing environmental laws; and the effect of armed hostilities, terrorism, natural disasters and public health issues. For a discussion of those and other factors affecting our business and prospects, see Dell's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements.
Consolidated statements of income, financial position and cash flows follow.

Dell GmbH

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services they trust and value. For more information, visit www.dell.com. To hear a replay of the fourth quarter analysts' call with Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, and Brian Gladden, CFO, go to www.dell.com/investor, or to communicate directly with Dell, go to www.dell.com/dellshares.

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