Some will howl when they read that "light revenue" was a $1.7 billion increase over the comparable quarter last year. After all, a 15% jump represents fantastic growth for a company Dell's size. That might be true, but total revenue of $13.4 billion was $180 million below the lowest projection of the 28 analysts making estimates.
Earnings, excluding one-time events, came in 23% higher at $0.38 a share -- and that was right on target with the average analyst estimate.
The company's low-end projection for revenue for the upcoming third quarter, on the other hand, is $100 million below the lowest analyst projection. But earnings are at least within analyst expectations and, on average, are expected to increase by 24.2%.
The stock was down almost 8% in midday trading Friday and has been on a roller coaster since the last quarter. But the stock, at today's price, is still 10.3% higher than when it closed a year ago today.
You can spend hours going through the ebbs and flows of the company results, but let's boil Dell down to a few simple facts.
First, the company has scary efficiency and has grown organically. IBM, in contrast, sold its PC operations after finding the business too tough. Hewlett-Packard
Consider, too, that Dell is more than just its core PC products. It's also selling servers, data storage, printers, TVs, and music devices with attention to detail, cost, and performance. And that's why Dell is a success story that continues to grow.
Also significant is that the company has experienced significant year-over-year growth in all categories, and that's particularly impressive given what some might characterize as a questionable tech-spending environment.
Further, the company has experienced strong year-over-year growth in developing Asia-Pacific regions. That has given the company a valuable foothold in developing markets that, over time, can grow significantly faster than the U.S. market can.
The bottom line is that analysts expect cash-rich Dell to continue to grow earnings at 20% a year for the next five years, while the PC industry (which Dell dominates) will see only 15.3% growth over the same period (and the S&P 500 is forecast to grow by 10.7% annually).
Forget today's "light revenue" market jitters and focus on the stock's price. It is selling for 22.7 times estimated 2005 earnings and 19.1 times 2006 earnings. For that price, investors are getting the premier company in its industry and one that is using its operating expertise to grow successfully into new markets. Isn't it easy to see why Dell is a Stock Advisor recommendation?
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