Dell profit plummets 31% as investors ponder $24 bn buyout

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Dell profit plummets 31% as investors ponder $24 bn buyout. (Reuters) Dell profit plummets 31% as investors ponder $24 bn buyout. (Reuters)
SummaryMichael Dell is offering $13.65 a share to buy out the company.

of about $15 per share was a "fair price."

"The better-than-expected results means that's the fair thing to do, in our opinion, is to raise the bid to a price where current shareholders reap some of the rewards while the take-private consortium enjoys the prospect of a respectable return," Misek said.

SLIDING PC SALES

Dell posted net income of $530 million, or 30 cents a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter on revenue of $14.3 billion. That came in slightly higher than the average analyst estimate of revenue of $14.12 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding certain items, it earned 40 cents a share, compared to an average forecast for 39 cents.

Shares of the company edged 0.5 percent higher in after-hours trade to $13.87, from a close of $13.805 on the Nasdaq.

Dell has said it plans to stick to its current turnaround strategy to diversify away from personal computers following the buyout.

The company, once regarded as a model of innovation in the early 2000s for pioneering online ordering of custom-configured PCs, missed the big industry shift to tablet computers, smartphones and high-powered consumer electronics such as music players.

It is also had to defend its market share against hard-charging Asian rivals like Lenovo.

Dell has lost 40 percent of its value since last year's peak and is trying to reinvent itself as a seller of services to corporations - an internal overhaul that some analysts say may be better conducted away from public scrutiny.

The company, was also hurt by the slide in holiday-season sales of personal computers for the first time in more than five years despite the launch of Microsoft Corp's new Windows 8 operating system.

Dell's worldwide PC shipments fell nearly 21 percent to 9.48 million in the last three months of 2012 from 11.97 million in the same period a year ago, according to IDC.

The bright spot for Dell was its growing sales of its enterprise solutions and services revenue, which rose 6 percent to $5.2 billion, and accounted for 34 percent of revenue for fiscal year.

In contrast, consumer revenue plummeted 24 percent to $2.8 billion, underscoring the plight of the broader PC market while sales to large corporations declined 7 percent to $4.7 billion in the quarter.

Dell said it was seeing growth in tablets and low-end desktops and notebooks. It ended fiscal 2013 with $15.3 billion in cash and investments.

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