Sales increased 22 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 21 percent in Asia-Pacific and Japan. Worldwide revenue growth from servers and storage systems accelerated from the last quarter, increasing 20 percent year-over-year. In the United States, sales to business customers grew 19 percent year-over-year.
Revenue for the quarter ended Jan. 28 was $13.5 billion, up 17 percent from a year ago. Pro-forma fourth-quarter net earnings were 37 cents per share, 28 percent higher than last year. That exceeded Dell's guidance by one cent, as continued strong profit growth in markets outside the United States reduced the company's operating tax rate.
Dell's fourth-quarter reported earnings were $667 million, or 26 cents per share, which included a tax charge of 11 cents per share. The charge was taken in anticipation of repatriating foreign earnings at a one-time favorable tax rate under the U.S. American Jobs Creation Act (AJCA).
Full-year pro-forma earnings were $1.29 per share, up 28 percent; fiscal-2005 reported earnings, including the AJCA-related charge, were $1.18 per share. Full-year revenue was $49.2 billion, up 19 percent.
"The quarter represents continued record performance by our team around the world," said Kevin Rollins, Dell's chief executive officer. "No one has higher expectations for Dell over time than we do, and we're constantly driving for excellence on behalf of customers and shareholders."
Mr. Rollins said the company expects Dell first-quarter fiscal-2006 product shipments to increase 21 percent. The resulting company volumes should produce quarterly revenue of about $13.4 billion, up 16 percent from the prior year, and earnings per share of about 37 cents, up 32 percent.
In the fourth quarter, Dell's operating margins improved to 8.8 percent, up from 8.5 percent a year ago. The company generated $1.8 billion in cash flow from operations, and total cash and investments at quarter-end was $14.1 billion, a company record.
Strong Growth Continues Across Global Regions
Total volume increases for all products worldwide were 19 percent, nearly seven points faster than the industry excluding Dell.
Fourth quarter unit shipments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) increased 29 percent. Shipments of enterprise systems, including servers, were up 30 percent and notebook computer volumes rose 34 percent. Dell finished the quarter with more than a 10 percent share in EMEA, closing the gap on the current industry leader by nearly two percentage points. Unit shipments and revenue for the full year increased 31 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
In Asia-Pacific and Japan, total Dell shipments increased 27 percent - nearly three times the growth rate excluding Dell-highlighted by a 29 percent gain in notebook computer volumes. Unit shipments for the full year increased 29 percent, while revenue was up 26 percent.
Solid volume growth across product lines in the Americas was highlighted by 25 percent growth in servers and a 28 percent increase in notebook computers. Dell increased its share in the U.S. by nearly three points to 33 percent during the quarter. Revenue growth in the Americas outside the U.S. increased 27 percent year-over-year, and shipments of notebook computers and servers rose 52 percent and 44 percent, respectively.
Servers, Storage Highlight Product Strengths
Dell's overall volume growth for the quarter was highlighted by increa-ses of 30 percent in notebook computers and 25 percent in servers.
Revenue from external storage systems grew 27 percent compared to a year ago, driven by strong demand for Dell storage-area-network products. Sales of Dell I EMC storage systems increased 46 percent. Enhanced services revenue rose 32 percent worldwide, led by Asia-Pacific, where sales of services grew about 50 percent year-over-year.
Quarterly worldwide revenue from software and peripheral products increased 36 percent. Dell's full-year printer shipments were 5.2 million units, exceeding the company's volume targets and contributing to more than $1 billion in printing and imaging revenue. Dell printers are finding great customer receptivity around the world. In Asia-Pacific, for example, fourth-quarter unit growth was up 62 percent from the third quarter.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is a trusted and diversified information-technology supplier and partner, and sells a comprehensive portfolio of products and services directly to customers worldwide. Dell designs, builds and delivers innovative, tailored systems that provide customers with exceptional value. Company revenue for the past year was $49.2 billion. For more information about Dell and its products and services, visit www.dell.com.
Statements in this press release that relate to future results and events (including statements about fiscal 2006 first-quarter financial and operating performance) are based on the company's current expectations. Actual results in future periods may differ materially from those currently expected or desired because of a number of risks and uncertainties, including general economic and business conditions; the level of demand for the company's products and services; the level and intensity of competition in the technology industry and the pricing pressures that have resulted; the company's ability to timely and effectively manage periodic product transitions, as well as component availability and cost; the company's ability to develop new products based on new or evolving technology and the market's acceptance of those products; the company's ability to manage its inventory levels to minimize excess inventory, declining inventory values and obsolescence; the product, customer and geographic sales mix of any particular period; the company's ability to effectively manage its operating costs; and the effect of armed hostilities, terrorism or public health issues on the economy generally, on the level of demand for the company's products and services and on the company's ability to manage its supply and delivery logistics in such an environment. Additional discussion of these and other factors affecting the company's business and prospects is contained in the company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Consolidated statements of income, financial position and cash flows follow.
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