This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, May 15, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: It started as a mail-order business in his college dorm. Now it’s become the number-one PC company on the planet and much more. He has also become one of the richest guys on the planet. We’re talking about Dell Computer Corporation, of course, out today with numbers that were pretty good, 23 cents a share in the latest period, revenues strong. In fact, the company’s profit margins widening all the more. Here is the guy who is making all that happen, the chairman and the CEO of Dell Computer, Michael Dell.
Michael, good to have you. Thank you for coming.
CAVUTO: First off, on the earnings report, do you notice what your counterpart at IBM has been telling people over the couple of days, any technology turn-around going on?
DELL: Well, when our units are growing at 29 percent, it is not exactly what I would call a turn-around. If you look at the last 2 1/2 years, we have grown at about 20 points faster than the industry during that entire period. So the overall industry has been fairly stable for the last couple of quarters. But we have continued to dramatically outgrow the industry. Servers grew 40 percent. Profit outside the United States doubled. We had over 35 percent growth in key markets, like France, U.K, China, Germany, Japan. So we are seeing a very strong continued growth in our market share, and in key product segments like servers and storage.
CAVUTO: So obviously, you didn’t have to see a big boost to see what others in your industry have been hoping for would be a big boost. As you see it, the buying appetite remains strong out there.
DELL: Well, it is actually stable, growing at a - only very, very slightly. It hasn’t really changed over the last couple of quarters. And we continue to gain market share. If you take Dell out of the numbers, the United States, there was a decline of about 6 percent on a year-over-year basis, whereas our unit share grew about 26 percent. So there is clearly a shift market share. On an overall basis, the market is not really growing a whole lot.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you, we just had the commerce secretary on, Michael, and beforehand, Senator Breaux of Louisiana. They’re trying to cobble together this tax cut package. How much of an effect do you think that will have on businesses like yours, on the economy in general?
DELL: Well, we would certainly like to be able to issue a dividend. And if the tax on dividends goes down, I think that is highly likely. I think it is time that there is some kind of tax package or stimulus package that’s put into effect in the economy. We would like to see it kind of get on with it. And certainly, I think as the economy is showing little bit of improved signs, you have some of the uncertainty factors going away. Those are the kind of things that will encourage small businesses, large businesses to invest more, consumers to be a little bit more confident. And those are all good things. We would like to see those.
CAVUTO: So you are for the president’s tax cut?
DELL: Yes, our industry is for it. Actually, all the major computer companies have lined up behind the president’s package.
CAVUTO: And the dividend tax cut, if that were not to come to fruition, or certainly it was watered down, as seems very likely the case, would you think twice about offering a dividend yourself?
DELL: Absolutely, I mean, if the law doesn’t change, I think it is not very likely that we would have a dividend. And if the law does change and the tax comes down dramatically or goes away, I think it is highly likely we would have a dividend. I think there are many companies like ours that would be in a similar position.
CAVUTO: Let me talk to you, I know you generally don’t like to talk about the stock market in general. You are very bullish on your own stock, which is understandable. But the Nasdaq, where a lot of high-tech names, yourself included, are housed, has seen a rather marked turn-around since the October lows: up close to 40 percent. Some are saying the bull market has been reborn. Are you in that camp?
DELL: Well, Neil, you have lots of people on your show all of the time talking about the stock market. I’m not going to add to that chorus. Our job is to build a great business. And we do that every single day. And if we do that over time, certainly people usually recognize that, and increase in the value of our shares. And that seems to be occurring and certainly has occurred over longer periods of time.
CAVUTO: Now, as the largest computer player on the planet right now, you wanted to get rid of the computer name in your name, to, I guess, indicate that you do a lot of other things from printers to services and that sort of thing. Is that the message you are going to send going forward?
DELL: Our business has really expanded. In the mid ‘90s we entered the enterprise market. And we’ve now been, for the last two years, number one in the server market. So from the desktop to the data center to services to Dell’s kind of global expansion, we are seeing a real widening out of our business and an increasing use of standards; which is providing us great opportunity, not just in computer systems, but in many areas within the IT sector. So I think this is the way people already think about Dell today.
CAVUTO: Michael Dell, thank you very much, very good seeing you.
DELL: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Michael Dell is the chairman and CEO of Dell Computer, out of Texas.
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