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Dell Earnings Miss Estimates; Shares Edge Lower

Dell reported quarterly earnings that missed analysts' expectations by a penny and delivered a mixed outlook on Tuesday, sending its shareslower in extended trading.

Dell
AP
Dell

The world's No. 3 maker of personal computers posted fourth-quarter earnings excluding items of 51 cents per share, down from 53 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

After the earnings announcement, the company's sharesfell in trading after the closing bell.(Click here for the latest after-hour quote for Dell.)

Net income fell to $764 million from $927 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $16.03 billion from $15.69 billion.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 52 cents a share on $15.96 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters. Strength in its corporate business unit was offset by weakness in the division that caters to public businesses.

The company forecast fiscal first-quarter revenue below Wall Street's expectations, stoking fears the PC industry has not fully emerged from its downturn.

Dell projected sales would be down 7 percent in the current quarter from the previous quarter, when it posted revenue of $16 billion. That translates into about $14.9 billion, below the average forecast for roughly $15.2 billion.

Investors were disappointed by the "lack of the upside in the quarter as well," ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall said. "It's going to take a little bit of time for Dell to turn around the tanker ship."

"They have $65 billion revenue and it takes a long time to move the needle to more strategically relevant revenue sources and we are just not seeing signs of progress yet," he said.

PC makers have grappled with slackening demand as mobile devices such as Apple's iPad erode market share, while a shortage of hard drives after flooding in Thailand crimped supply.

For fiscal 2013, the company said it expects non-GAAP earnings per share to exceed $2.13 a share.

Dell's large-enterprise business held up well, increasing sales 5 percent in the quarter to $4.9 billion, as corporations continued to upgrade aging hardware.

Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said he expects business spending in Dell's enterprise unit to continue to be strong this quarter.

Dell's public business generated revenue of $3.9 billion, down 1 percent from a year ago due to weakness in the United States and Western Europe, while Dell's sales to consumers fell 2 percent over the same period.

Dell's gross margin rose to 21.1 percent from 20 percent a year earlier.

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