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Dell Inc. - NASDAQ

4/18/2014, 7:51 PM ET
Quote & Analysis StockTalk Description
Sector: Technology
Industry: Personal Computers
Country: United States

Dell listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services they trust and value. As a leading technology company, we offer a broad range of product categories, including mobility products, desktop PCs, software and peripherals, servers and networking, services, and storage. According to IDC, we are the number one supplier of computer systems in the United States and the number two supplier worldwide.

Our company is a Delaware corporation and was founded in 1984 by Michael Dell on a simple concept: by selling computer systems directly to customers, we can best understand their needs and efficiently provide the most effective computing solutions to meet those needs. Over time we have expanded our business model to include a broader portfolio of products, including services, and we have also added new distribution partners, such as retail, system integrators, value added resellers, and distributors, which allow us to reach even more end-users around the world. Our corporate headquarters are located in Round Rock, Texas, and we conduct operations worldwide through our subsidiaries. To optimize our global supply chain to best serve our global customer base, we have manufacturing locations around the world and are expanding our relationships with third-party original equipment manufacturers. When we refer to our company and its business in this report, we are referring to the business and activities of our consolidated subsidiaries. We operate principally in one industry, and we manage our business in four operating segments: Americas Commercial; Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) Commercial; Asia Pacific-Japan (“APJ”) Commercial; and Global Consumer.

Business Strategy

Direct relationships with our customers give us an advantage of seeing changing customer requirements and needs earlier than companies who do not have the same breadth of direct relationships. As a result, we are able to develop products with simpler and more productive technology to better serve our customers. As we continue to expand our global presence, we are further diversifying our revenue and profit streams. Our strategy is to focus on higher margin products, services, and solutions to increase overall profitability as we balance our liquidity, profitability, and growth. We are also focused on improving our competitiveness by reducing overall costs. In May 2008, we announced a $3 billion cost reduction initiative, which includes both cost of goods sold and operating expenses. In the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2009, we identified additional savings opportunities and have increased our cost-reduction target to $4 billion by the end of Fiscal 2011. Our growth strategy involves reaching more customers worldwide through new distribution partners, such as retail, expanding our relationships with value-added resellers and distributors, and augmenting select areas of our business through targeted acquisitions. Our goal continues to be to optimize the balance of liquidity, profitability, and growth with a focus on increasing the mix of our product portfolio to higher margin products and recurring revenue streams.

• Provide great value to customers and partners through direct relationships. We are committed to innovating without legacy, creating efficient solutions, and providing price, performance, and feature leadership across all of our businesses. In addition, we will deliver the power of cloud computing and connect with our customers through the Internet. We are focused on helping customers identify and remove unnecessary cost and complexity in IT architecture and operations. In addition, we seek to broaden our profit stream to capture complementary opportunities in new solutions for customers that include search, services, and 3G originations. To that end, during Fiscal 2009 we released a broad lineup of dedicated virtualization solutions, including software, servers, services, and storage.

• Optimize the balance of liquidity, profitability, and growth with a focus on increasing the mix of our product portfolio to higher margin products and recurring revenue streams. We will balance our mix of products and services to increase profitability over time. We are committed to shifting our solutions portfolio to higher margin solutions and recurring revenue streams in software, servers, services, and storage. Our services business has growth opportunities both in driving attachment of services onto existing product platforms and expanding into new solution offerings. We expect to expand our presence in the enterprise solution arena as we add more capabilities that are attractive to existing and new customers. We are committed to improving our storage and server products and services as evidenced by our new building IT-as-a-Service solution, an integrated service delivery platform that is simple, modular, and flexible, and which provides businesses with remote and lifecycle management, e-mail backup, and software license management, among other services. In addition to services, system software presents another opportunity for us to further strengthen our portfolio.

Product Development

We focus on developing standards-based technologies that incorporate highly desirable features and capabilities at competitive prices. We employ a collaborative approach to product design and development where our engineers, along with direct customer input, design innovative solutions and work with a global network of technology companies to architect new system designs, influence the direction of future development, and integrate new technologies into our products. Through this collaborative, customer-focused approach, we strive to deliver new and relevant products and services to the market quickly and efficiently. We are continuing to expand our use of original design manufacturing partnerships and manufacturing outsourcing relationships to generate cost efficiencies, deliver products faster, and better serve our customers in certain product categories, customer segments, and geographical areas. Our research, development, and engineering expenses were $665 million for Fiscal 2009, $693 million for Fiscal 2008, and $498 million for Fiscal 2007, including acquisition related in-process research and development of $2 million for Fiscal 2009 and $83 million for Fiscal 2008.

Products and Services

We design, develop, manufacture, market, sell, and support a wide range of products that in many cases are customized to individual customer requirements. Our product categories include mobility products, desktop PCs, software and peripherals, servers and networking, services, and storage. See “Part II — Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Revenue by Product and Service Categories” and Note 11 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in “Part II — Item 8 — Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

• Mobility — The XPStm and Alienwaretm lines of notebook computers are targeted at customers seeking the best experiences and designs available, from sleek, elegant, thin, and light notebooks to the highest performance gaming systems. In Fiscal 2009, we introduced the new stylish Studio line of consumer notebooks with powerful multimedia elements. The Inspirontm line of notebook computers is designed for consumers seeking the latest technology and high performance in a stylish and affordable package. In Fiscal 2009, we added the 3G enabled Mini, a light, highly mobile notebook, to the Inspiron line. The Latitudetm line is designed to help business, government, and institutional customers manage their total cost of ownership through managed product lifecycles and the latest offerings in performance, security, and communications. The Vostrotm line is designed to customize technology, services, and expertise to suit the specific needs of small businesses. The Dell Precisiontm line of mobile workstations is intended for professional users who demand exceptional performance to run sophisticated applications. This year, we also had the largest global product launch in our company’s history with our new E-Series commercial Latitude and Dell Precision notebooks.

• Desktop PCs — The XPStm and Alienwaretm lines of desktop computers are targeted at customers seeking the best experiences and designs available, from multimedia capability to the highest gaming performance. The OptiPlextm line is designed to help business, government, and institutional customers manage their total cost of ownership by offering a portfolio of secure, manageable, and stable lifecycle products. The Inspirontm line of desktop computers is designed for mainstream PC users requiring the latest features for their productivity and entertainment needs. The Vostrotm line is designed to provide technology and services to suit the specific needs of small businesses. In July 2008, we introduced the Studio line of compact and stylish consumer desktops, which includes the Hybrid, our most power efficient consumer desktop.

Dell Precisiontm desktop workstations are intended for professional users who demand exceptional performance from hardware platforms optimized and certified to run sophisticated applications, such as those needed for three-dimensional computer-aided design, digital content creation, geographic information systems, computer animation, software development, computer-aided engineering, game development, and financial analysis.

• Software and Peripherals — We offer Dell-branded printers and displays and a multitude of competitively priced third-party peripheral products, including software titles, printers, televisions, notebook accessories, networking and wireless products, digital cameras, power adapters, scanners, and other products.

– Software. We sell a wide range of third-party software products, including operating systems, business and office applications, anti-virus and related security software, entertainment software, and products in various other categories. In Fiscal 2009, we launched the Dell Download Store, an online software store for consumers and small-and-medium-sized businesses.

– Printers. We offer a wide array of Dell-branded printers, ranging from all-in-one ink jet printers for consumers to large multifunction devices for corporate workgroups. In Fiscal 2009, we further expanded our product portfolio and launched the world’s smallest color laser printer. Dell-branded printers continue to win awards for reliability and value.

– Displays. We offer a broad line of branded and non-branded display products, including flat panel monitors and projectors. We continue to win awards for quality, performance, and value across our monitors and projector product lines. The M109s on-the-go projector was the first pocket projector to ship in the industry at the end of calendar 2008 and won the prestigious CES Innovations 2009 award in January 2009.

• Servers and Networking — Our standards-based PowerEdgetm line of servers is designed to offer customers affordable performance, reliability, and scalability. Options include high performance rack, blade, and tower servers for enterprise customers and value tower servers for small organizations, networks, and remote offices. We also offer customized Dell server solutions for very large data center customers. During the Fiscal 2009, we released a broad line-up of dedicated virtualization solutions, including new servers, tools, and services. We expect to refresh our servers and networking product portfolio in Fiscal 2010.

Our PowerConnecttm switches connect computers and servers in small-to-medium-sized networks. PowerConnecttm products offer customers enterprise-class features and reliability at a high value for our customers.

• Services — Our global services business offers a broad range of configurable IT services that help commercial customers and channel partners plan, implement, and manage IT operations and consumers install, protect, and maintain their computer systems and accessories. Our service solutions help customers simplify IT, thus maximizing the performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of IT operations.

– Infrastructure Consulting Services. Our consulting services help customers evaluate, design, and implement standards-based IT infrastructures. These customer-oriented consulting services are designed to be focused and efficient, providing customers access to our experience and guidance on how to best architect and operate IT operations.

– Deployment Services. Our deployment services simplify and accelerate the deployment of enterprise products and computer systems in customers’ environments. Our processes and deployment technologies enable customers to get systems up and running quickly and reliably, with minimal end-user disruption.

– Asset Recovery and Recycling Services. We offer a variety of flexible services for the secure and environmentally safe recovery and disposal of owned and leased IT equipment. Various options, including resale, recycling, donation, redeployment, employee purchase, and lease return, help customers retain value while facilitating regulatory compliance and minimizing storage costs.

– Training Services. We help customers develop the skills and knowledge of key technologies and systems needed to increase their productivity. Courses include hardware and software training as well as computer system skills and professional development classes available through instructor-led, virtual, or self-directed online courses.

– Support Services. Our suite of scalable support services is designed for IT professionals and end-users whose needs range from basic phone support to rapid response and resolution of complex problems. We offer flexible levels of support that span from desktop and notebook PCs to complex servers and storage systems, helping customers maximize uptime and stay productive. Our support services include warranty services and proactive maintenance offerings to help prevent problems as well as rapid response and resolution of problems. These services are supported by our network of Global Command Centers in the U.S., Ireland, China, Japan, and Malaysia, providing rapid, around-the-clock support for critical commercial systems.

– Managed Services. We offer a full suite of managed service solutions for companies who desire outsourcing of some or all of their IT management. From planning to deployment to ongoing technical support, our managed services are modular in nature so that customers can customize a plan based on their current and future needs. We can manage a portion of their IT tasks or provide an end-to-end solution.

• Storage — We offer a comprehensive portfolio of advanced storage solutions, including storage area networks, network-attached storage, direct-attached storage, disk and tape backup systems, and removable disk backup. With our advanced storage solutions for mainstream buyers, we offer customers functionality and value while reducing complexity in the enterprise. Our storage systems are easy to deploy, manage, and maintain. The flexibility and scalability offered by Dell PowerVaulttm, Dell EqualLogictm, and Dell | EMC storage systems help organizations optimize storage for diverse environments with varied requirements. During the fiscal year, we expanded our storage portfolio by adding increasingly flexible storage choices that allow customers to grow capacity, add performance and protect their data in a more economical manner.

Financial Services

We offer or arrange various customer financial services for our business and consumer customers in the U.S. through Dell Financial Services L.L.C. (“DFS”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dell. DFS offers a wide range of financial services, including originating, collecting, and servicing customer receivables related to the purchase of Dell products. DFS offers private label credit financing programs through CIT Bank to qualified consumer and small business customers and offers leases and fixed-term financings to business customers. Financing through DFS is one of many sources of funding that our customers may select.


At the end of Fiscal 2009, we had approximately 78,900 total employees (consisting of 76,500 regular employees and 2,400 temporary employees), compared to approximately 88,200 total employees (consisting of 82,700 regular employees and 5,500 temporary employees) at the end of Fiscal 2008. Approximately 25,900 of the regular employees at the end of Fiscal 2009 were located in the U.S., and approximately 50,600 regular employees were located in other countries.