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DELL'S FOURTH-QUARTER SHIPMENTS, REVENUE, OPERATING INCOME SET COMPANY RECORDS
The company's strength spanned all customer and product categories around the world. Dell gained almost three points of global market share from one year ago - more than three points in servers - and nearly five share points in the United States. Fourth-quarter unit shipments were 25 percent higher; without Dell, the global industry grew less than 1 percent. Shipments in strategically important countries China, France, Germany and Japan increased a combined 39 percent. Dell server growth in those markets was 47 percent. Quarterly revenue was $9.7 billion, up 21 percent from last year. Company earnings were 23 cents per share, an increase of 35 percent. Full-year net earnings were $2.12 billion, on record revenue of $35.4 billion. Earnings per share for fiscal 2003 reached 80 cents, up from 65 cents absent a special charge in the prior year. "Customers always look for higher levels of value, particularly when economic conditions are weak," said Kevin Rollins, Dell's president and chief operating officer. "And the Dell team is exceptional at continually increasing customer value. "That's why we're profitably gaining market share, and consistently producing industry-leading operating results. This performance would be outstanding in any environment, and we have no intention to depart from a very successful strategy." In the first quarter of fiscal 2004, Dell expects that approach to produce a year-over-year increase in company unit volumes of more than 25 percent, compared with anticipated industry growth at a low single-digit rate. Mr. Rollins said that should result in quarterly revenue of $9.5 billion, up 18 percent from last year, and per-share earnings of 23 cents, 35 percent higher. Fourth-quarter operating income of $819 million was Dell's highest ever. As a percent of revenue, operating income was 8.4 percent, up from the third quarter and one full point higher than a year ago. Operating expenses were 9.9 percent of revenue, matching a company low. Dell's leading asset management helped generate $1.1 billion in cash from operations. Total cash and investments at the end of the quarter totaled $9.9 billion, a company record. Shift From UNIX Drives Dell Server Growth Dell's 28-percent increase in shipments of PowerEdge servers was more than five times larger than server volumes for the rest of the industry. The company ranks No. 1 in the U.S., No. 2 worldwide, in shipments of servers based on both Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system and on Linux. Windows and Linux running on clusters of standards-based servers are increasingly being chosen as high-performance, low-cost alternatives to proprietary UNIX platforms for supercomputing applications. According to industry analysts, Dell accounts for 65 percent of global revenue from technical clusters, a relatively new but rapidly growing, high-end market category. Revenue from external storage systems increased 87 percent year-over-year. The company's most rapid fourth-quarter storage growth came from sales of Dell | EMC systems for storage-area networks. Combined shipments of Inspiron and Latitude notebook computers were up 33 percent, nearly three times the rate of notebook-computer growth for the rest of the industry. Higher demand for notebooks is driven, in part, by growing customer adoption of wireless technology. Volumes of Dell's Dimension and OptiPlex desktop computers increased 24 percent, versus an average 3-percent decline for all other desktop systems. Company Jumps to No. 3 in Asia-Pacific/Japan All of Dell's regional businesses expanded at rates significantly better than the overall industry, led by Asia-Pacific and Japan with 42-percent shipment growth - 45 percent for servers. Without Dell, the regional industry was up 7 percent overall, 2 percent in servers. Analysts ranked the company No. 3 in the region, up from No. 6 one year ago. Dell's shipments in both the Americas and the U.S. grew 26 percent in the fourth quarter; the rest of the U.S. market declined 3 percent. Dell's fourth-quarter U.S. share rose to 30 percent. For the second straight full year, the company ranked No. 1 in all major U.S. product categories: servers, workstations and notebook and desktop computers. Dell's 22-percent U.S. server growth was sharply higher than the average of competitors, and the company gained nearly three points of market share from the year-ago quarter. In the biggest period for home-PC sales, Dell increased shipments to consumers 38 percent, while other companies averaged a 2-percent decline. Quarterly company revenue from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) surpassed $2 billion for the first time. Regional shipments increased 18 percent to a record level, as volumes for the rest of the industry rose just 2 percent. Over the past year, the gap between Dell's No. 2 regional ranking and market leadership was narrowed by more than four share points, or better than one-third. Dell shipments increased 32 percent in France and 14 percent in Germany; without Dell, industry volumes declined in both countries. Company server units in EMEA were up 29 percent, compared with a 2-percent average for others. In Germany, Dell server volumes were 46-percent higher than in the fourth quarter one year ago. About Dell Dell Computer Corporation (Nasdaq: DELL) is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Company revenue for the past year totaled $35.4 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com. Dell, PowerEdge, Inspiron, Latitude, Dimension and OptiPlex are trademarks of Dell Computer Corporation. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. EMC is a registered trademark of EMC Corp. Market comparisons based on IDC data. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. Special note: Statements in this press release that relate to future results and events (including statements about fiscal 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 or other conflict 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 and financial position follow. For further information: Dell Computer GmbH Nerses Chopurian Public Relations Manager Germany Tel. +49-6103-766-3271 Fax +49-6103-766-9655 Nerses_Chopurian@Dell.com www.dell.de PR-COMGmbH Michaela Gossmann PR-Beraterin Tel. +49-89-59997-801 Fax +49-89-59997-999 firstname.lastname@example.org www.pr-com.de Reader's contact: Tel. +49-800-9193355 Fax +49-180-5224401
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