Dell Tops Views in 4Q Despite 25% Profit Decline

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) reported a 25% decline in fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday on weaker enterprise revenue and PC sales, but managed to post a beat on both the top and bottom lines.

During the quarter, a 7% decline in its large enterprise business to $4.7 billion and a 20% decrease in desktop were partially offset by a 5% improvement in server revenue and a 42% jump in Dell networking.

The Round Rock, Texas-based computer hardware maker revealed operating income of $698 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $931 million, or 43 cents.

Excluding one-time items, Dell said it earned 40 cents, topping average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by a penny.

Revenue for the three-month period was $14.3 billion, down 11% from $16 billion in the year-earlier period. The results beat the Street’s view of $14.12 billion.

“We continued to execute our long-term strategy in Q4,” said Dell Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden. “We also continued to generate strong cash flow from operations of $1.4 billion in the quarter.”

Excess cash allowed the company to invest nearly $5 billion in new capabilities and intellectual properties last fiscal year, including in assets like Quest, SonicWall and AppAssure, Gladden said.

Shares of Dell ticked slightly higher in extended trade.