The PC giant's revenue came in below analysts' estimate, although its earnings per share came in well above the consensus forecast.
Dell highlighted ongoing strength in its enterprise business as a key driver of its profit growth. The company's enterprise solutions and services revenue, for example, grew 4% year over year to $4.6 billion, while its server and networking sales climbed 9%.
The results nonetheless sent investors fleeing from Dell's shares. Analysts, however, said that the numbers should be viewed within the context of Dell's longer-term profit push.Dell CEO Michael Dell made some headlines of his own later in the week when he poured scorn on rival HP's strategic changes. "If HP spins off their PC business ... maybe they will call it Compaq?" crowed the Dell supremo, via Twitter, referring to HP's tough $25 billion merger with PC maker Compaq. Dell shares ended the week up 24 cents, or 1.74%, at $14.
Renderings of Apple's new outlet in New York City's Grand Central Terminal emerged Wednesday. Rumored to open in late November, the store will be located on the terminal's east balcony where Charlie Palmer's Metrazur restaurant previously stood. Apple's Grand Central location will be its fifth in New York City and potentially its largest in the world. Its landmark Fifth Avenue glass cube store, located about a mile from the terminal, is currently undergoing renovations. The tech giant's shares fell 1.8% to $373.30 in premarket trading Thursday, following the departure of mobile ad exec Andy Miller. Miller, who joined the company through its acquisition of Quattro Wireless, will join venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners. Apple shares closed down $10.02, or 2.74%, at $356.03 on Friday.
Shares of small-business software provider Intuit (INTU) rose on Friday after the company projected strong earnings for the 2012 fiscal year during its fourth-quarter report Thursday afternoon. Intuit reported a loss of 19 cents a share on revenue of $593 million, beating EPS estimates by two cents. Analysts had expected sales of $583 million. For the first time since 1998, Intuit posted an adjusted profit for the fourth quarter, with CFO Neil Williams citing a rise in conversion of customers from packaged software to that sold online. The company also announced its first cash dividend: 15 cents a share. Intuit's stock ended the week up $3.35, or 8.31%, at $43.65.
With earnings season drawing to a close, the tech sector's attention will be focused on new products during the coming weeks. AT&T (T), for example, will debut its USBConnect Momentum 4G and Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G on Monday. -- Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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