While Dell's revenue from laptops rose by a robust 19 percent to $4.7 billion, driven by a 25 percent increase in notebook unit sales in the third quarter, the industry's continuing shift toward mobility was reflected by Dell's desktop sales, which declined by 1 percent to $4.8 billion.
Altogether, Dell's revenue rose by 9 percent year-over-year to reach $15.6 billion in the third quarter, exceeding Wall Street's expectations. The company's earnings rose by 26 percent to 34 cents per share in comparison with the same quarter in 2006.
"We embarked this year on a long-term strategy to reignite growth, and our third-quarter results indicate we're making solid progress," said Michael Dell, the company's chairman and CEO.
Best Prospects Overseas
Michael Dell told analysts that the company's best prospects for reigniting growth will come from overseas, with the number of desktops sold in the so-called BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China expected to outnumber those sold in the U.S. by three to two in 2011.
"These users have different needs and different perspectives, and they are going to have a huge impact on how all of us do business," Michael Dell noted. "So globally, as the levels of education and access to capital increase, so to must access to technology."
Dell said the company expects to reap rewards from moves to directly tap retail channels around the world. "There's a massive growth opportunity in the global consumer business for Dell over the next five years and we intend to compete for these customers in every major region," Dell's CEO explained.
"With nearly 10,000 stores by year-end, we'll soon be at about 27 percent of the top retail doors globally," Dell explained. "And we intend to have a presence across over 1,000 cities in China versus the roughly 45 cities that we have a presence in today."
Digesting Dell's Acquisitions
As part of Dell´s ongoing efforts to reinvent itself as an all-in-one supplier of simplified I.T., the company recently acquired Silverback Technologies for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) I.T. monitoring and management capabilities. Silverback's technology "allows us to remotely see and manage anything in our customer's environment with an IP address," Dell's CEO noted.
In addition, Dell is in the process of acquiring EqualLogic, which sells iSCSI storage area networks to small and midsize businesses. "EqualLogic is an extension of the fact that we're already in the storage business," CFO Don Carty noted. If the acquisition proves to be successful, EqualLogic is expected to help Dell expand its footprint in the storage business as well as grow it pretty quickly, Carty told analysts.
Moreover, Dell's pending acquisition of Everdream will allow the company to manage the client lifecycle remotely -- all the way from the company's factories through the retirement of those assets, Dell's CEO noted. "And it will allow us to increase our value add to our clients and reduce our cost structure at the same time."