11. Nov 2004

Record Revenue, Earnings and Cash Flow in the Third Quarter Distinguish Dell’s Best-Ever Operating Period

Dell revenue increased 18 percent from the same quarter a year ago to $12.5 billion, led by continued strong growth of 27 percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa and 25 percent in Asia-Pacific and Japan. Growth in the United States was led by a 20-percent increase in spending by business customers.

Earnings per share were 33 cents, up 27 percent, for the quarter ended Oct. 29.

”The record quarter is testament to the company's superb team executing a better business model,” said Kevin Rollins, Dell chief executive officer. ”An improving component cost environment further favors Dell, with customers and shareholders the primary beneficiaries.”

”Dell's disciplined focus on profitable growth around the world and across businesses continues to differentiate us in the market. We've been doing that for years.”

According to Mr. Rollins, Dell's fourth-quarter product shipments should be about 20 percent higher than in the same year-ago period. Such growth is expected to produce quarterly revenue of about $13.5 billion, up 17 percent, and earnings per share of 36 cents, a 24-percent increase.

In the third quarter, Dell's operating profit improved to 8.8 percent of revenue, the company's highest rate in four years. The company generated a record $1.8 billion in cash from operations, and total cash and investments rose to $12.4 billion. Dell spent $1.3 billion to repurchase 38 million shares of its common stock, bringing total shares repurchased year to date to 97 million-reducing weighted average shares outstanding by almost 3 percent for the year.

Dell Posts Strong Growth in All Global Regions

Dell established an industry record for worldwide shipments, selling a combined eight million standards-based servers, notebook computers and desktop computers in the quarter. The company's shipment growth of 22 percent - highlighted by a 35-percent increase in notebook computer volumes - was double the rate of the industry excluding Dell.

Third-quarter shipments in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were up 31 percent, a 15-point premium to the rest of the market. Server shipments in the region increased 24 percent, earning Dell nearly two points of server market share for the quarter.

In Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ), company-shipment growth of 25 percent was nearly three times the rate of the market excluding Dell. Revenue from enterprise systems, including servers and storage, increased 27 percent.

Dell also established an industry record for unit shipments in the U.S., surpassing five million systems in the quarter, and increased its market share by nearly two points to 33 percent. Among highlights in the Americas: revenue from small- and medium-sized businesses increased more than 23 percent, and revenue outside the U.S. was particularly strong, up 30 percent from the same year-ago period.

Servers, Printers, Services Highlight Product Leadership

Dell's 19-percent year-over-year increase in worldwide server shipments enabled the company to close the gap with the category leader by more than two share points. In the U.S., the company expanded its No. 1 server position by nearly two points, to nearly 33 percent. A new Technology Business Review survey again firmly ranked Dell No. 1 in customer satisfaction for standards-based servers.

Worldwide revenue from software and peripheral products increased 37 percent year-over-year. Strong customer demand has the company on track to exceed selling five million printers and generating more than $1 billion in imaging and printing revenue this year. During the third quarter, the company introduced its first generation of color laser printers for business and institutional customers, as well as two new printers with advanced digital photography features for consumers.

Dell's enhanced-services business continued to grow strongly, with a year-over-year revenue increase of 32 percent. Combined enhanced-services revenue for EMEA and APJ grew almost 60 percent.

Dell Inc. (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 four quarters totaled $47.3 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.

Special note: Special note: Statements in this press release that relate to future results and events (including statements about fiscal fourth-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.

For further information:

Dell GmbH
Michael Rufer
Public Relations Manager Dell Germany/Austria
Tel. +49-6103-766-3271
Fax +49-6103-766-9655

Eva Kia-Wernard
Senior Account Manager
Tel. +49-89-59997-802
Fax +49-89-59997-999

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