Dell Buyout Looks More Promising with Huge Profit Decline

Dell posted earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter that ended in January, 2013.

The company reported a 31 percent decline in profit as its PC business continues to perform poorly.  Dell posted net income of $530 million, or 30 cents a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter on revenue of $14.3 billion, higher than the $14.12 billion estimated revenue by analysts, but a huge decline from its $764 million, or 43 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.  Dell’s 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 in 2011.  Its consumer revenue plummeted 24 percent to $2.8 billion.

On a high note, Dell’s servers and networking revenue climbed by 18 percent due to its datacenter business and revenue from recently acquired companies such as Quest Software and Sonic Wall.  Its enterprise solutions and services revenue, rose 6 percent to $5.2 billion accounted for 34 percent of revenue for fiscal year.

Dell’s underwhelming performance makes the proposed $24 billion, or $13.65 a share, buyout a pretty a tasty treat.

Michael Dell, the company’s founder, is teaming up with Silver Lake, Microsoft, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets, to return Dell’s status into a privately held company.

Though returning to private mode may be Dell’s last hope for redemption, investors aren’t buying into the scheme.

Southeastern Asset Management, Dell’s single largest investor, perceived the buyout as undervaluing the company, while T. Rowe Price Group, Dell’s second largest investor, already announce that it would not accept Dell’s offer.   Pzena Investment Management also voted against the buyout.  That’s enough to make up the 18 percent needed to block the buyout.

Though some may think that investors are just looking out for what’s best for the company, it appears that the value of the buyout may be the true issue.  Investors would likely sell their stake in the company for more money.

“There isn’t anything really to be super excited about,” Brian Marshall, analyst with ISI Group, said, adding that declining revenue and profit doesn’t bode well for the company.

“The (buyout) deal makes sense. It will go through,” he said. “They will probably have to pay a little more than $13.65 to get it done but at the end of the day there aren’t a lot of options out there.”