Dell Forecast Spooks Investors After Reporting Best Year Ever

Paul Lilly

Record enterprise solutions and services revenue of $18.6 billion for fiscal year 2011 ($4.9 billion the fourth quarter) played a big role in Dell reporting its "most successful financial year ever." Revenue for the full year topped $62 billion, representing a 1 percent year-over-year increase, with $16 billion pouring in during the final quarter, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. But it was Dell's outlook for the coming quarter that didn't sit well with investors, who collectively sent the company's shares down more than 4 percent.

Dell said it expects revenue to drop 7 percent next quarter, adding that its figure aligns with normal seasonality. Investors saw things differently, perhaps as a reflection of a weak PC market that has yet to rebound. Either way, Dell plans to keep doing what it's been doing.

"The expanding mix of revenue and earnings from enterprise solutions and services is critical to our future," said Brian Gladden , Dell chief financial officer. "Our full-year results are a strong reflection of the significant progress we made this year on our strategic priorities."

Despite Wall Street's reaction, Dell's numbers were mostly positive. Dell Services revenue grew 12 percent to $2.2 billion in 2011, its storage business grew 33 percent to $463 million, it's server and networking revenue increased by 6 percent, and the list goes on.

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