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Dell shares sink 19% as current-quarter earnings guidance disappoints

Published 05/30/2024, 04:16 PM
Updated 05/31/2024, 02:06 PM
© Reuters.

Investing.com -- Shares in Dell (NYSE:DELL) shed around a fifth of their value in U.S. trading on Friday after the technology group unveiled a lower-than-anticipated current-quarter earnings outlook and indicated that higher spending on building out servers to meet artificial intelligence workloads would weigh on full-year margins.

Texas-based Dell forecast adjusted per-share income of $1.65, plus or minus $0.10, in its quarter ended in July, below Wall Street expectations of $1.88, according to analysts at Evercore ISI.

Adjusted gross margin in its ongoing 2025 fiscal year, meanwhile, is seen declining by around 150 basis points.

Speaking in a post-earnings call, executives at Dell flagged that gross margins have come under pressure from a "more competitive pricing environment and a higher AI optimized server mix." Chief Operating Officer Jeff Clarke added that the company can "do better" in boosting margins.

The Evercore ISI analysts said they believe the negative stock reaction reflects "very high expectations," adding that they found Dell's results for its April quarter to be "fairly solid."

First-quarter revenue of $22.2 billion marked a 6% increase from the same three-month period last year, surpassing the consensus estimate of $21.65 billion. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.27, slightly above the analysts' projections of $1.25, but 3% down from the previous year.

Dell's Infrastructure Solutions Group, which houses its storage, software and server offerings, was a standout performer, with revenue climbing 22% year-on-year to $9.2 billion, bolstered by a record 42% increase in servers and networking revenue.

Revenue growth at its Client Solutions personal computing business was flat at $12.0 billion, with commercial client revenue seeing a modest 3% rise.

Chief Financial Officer Yvonne McGill highlighted the company's execution and cash flow, noting the role of AI in driving new growth.

AI server orders rose by about $500 million from the last quarter to $2.6 billion, although analysts at Goldman Sachs flagged that the number "likely disappointed high investor expectations."

Senad Karaahmetovic contributed to this report.

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