Dell earnings beat estimates despite falling PC sales

Paul Sakuma | AP

Dell reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street forecasts as growth in its enterprise solutions business offset the ongoing slump in PCs.

Net income for the quarter fell 72 percent to $204 million from $732 million a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 25 cents per share, down sharply from 50 cents per share a year earlier, but results were a penny ahead of Street forecasts.

Dell's gross margin also shrank 14 percent in the quarter from a year earlier to 18.5 percent.

Revenue came in at $14.51 billion, essentially flat from the year-earlier quarter and beating forecasts for $14.18 billion.

Enterprise solutions sales climbed 9 percent in the quarter to $3.3 billion, while PC sales slumped 5 percent to $9.1 billion. Dell services revenue rose 2 percent to $2.1 billion.

Dell also said it will not provide any guidance, given its definitive merger agreement to take the company private.

Dell moved up the earnings release, which had originally been expected next week.

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Dell is currently in a battle over its future. Michael Dell is looking to take the company he founded private through a deal with private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners. But billionaire investor Carl Icahn is fighting the move.

Earlier this month, Dell and Silver Lake agreed to pay a 13 cent special dividend to investors and raised its offer price to $13.75 a share to entice reluctant shareholders into voting for the buyout.

As part of the deal announced Friday, the special committee has agreed to change the voting standard for the buyout group's higher offer. The record date has also been moved to mid-August from mid-September.

On Friday, a Delaware court will hear Icahn's case opposing the changes to the shareholder vote.